The “Pallas Players” are driven by a needs must philosophy. Cast members all have multiple roles onstage and off. They each portray numerous characters, move scenery, shed one costume for another and do their own Foley work. And therein lies all the fun. With Therry’s “Whisky Galore” director Angela Short delivers a carefully constructed chaotic package via an evenly talented ensemble. Each of the players invest their roles with verve and gusto!
We are kept up to scratch plot-wise with narration by Kate Anolak as Flora Bellerby playing the role of author. She also uses her Chorus status to instruct us on island bird life. We learn that seabirds such as gannets, guillemots and gulls (or whatever!) each have much the same signature cry! And, what’s more, the local Todday pigeon seems to sound remarkably like a duck! Who knew? This misplaced Foley work, due no doubt to post war economic restraint, is very amusing. So too is the motley group of local characters as they focus on removing the liquid gold bounty from the freshly foundered SS Cabinet Minister.
Not withstanding local relationships pending or otherwise, the real entertainment is delivered via numerous pieces of stage business throughout. The scene in which the Sergeant’s car is stopped by a passing flock of nonchalant sheep is quite hilarious. I particularly like that two of the flock take their time to make an ambling exit upstage. The Macroon’s dog is not only exuberant but is affectionate to a fault! I think a wee trip to the vet might well be in order! But the show stealing scene is the one in which crates of whisky are liberated from the faltering freighter into the small open boats of the deliriously delighted islanders. Such a bright blue sea with such a gentle swell!
The audience enjoys the deliberate mistiming of little bits and pieces, they like the entries and exits and the total energy of the play and its players. The set designed by Don Oswald looks deceptively simple with flats changing as if within a revolving door. Very effective. Similarly costumes by Sandy Faithfull (with colleagues Gilian Cordell and Val Hancock) well suit the ad hoc atmospherics of the Co-op Hall presentation. I have named only one of the seven players who collectively drive this piece of theatre with obvious zest and a sense of great fun. Their camaraderie is patently obvious in the final curtain call which they share as one. It was gratefully shared by an appreciative audience. A touch of Therry feel good!