a COMEDY with a timeless message, set in a disused Methodist church, was the latest offering by the members of Trinity Drama Group.
Georgina Reid’s comedy “Clerical Errors”, produced by Stuart Robinson, played for four nights to audiences at the Trinity Methodist Church Hall, Clitheroe.
The well-designed set recreated perfectly the atmosphere of a well worn church hall, complete with discarded hymn books and damp walls, with members of the audience sitting in the “empty” pews.
The story unfolded around the central characters, the Briggs family. Down on their luck, they had run out of money, and when threatened with eviction set up temporary home in an old church building.
As the story unfolded, the actors cleverly made use of the whole of the “church”, and though much of the main action took place on stage, the characters frequently weaved among the audience.
A highlight of this was when the matriarch of the family, Gran, rolled up the centre aisle of the “church” singing drunkenly and confessing to robbing the family of their savings from the poor box to pay for her latest tipple.
The poignant scene concluded as the lights went down and the minister joined in as Gran went on to sing the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful”.
Other characters included the feisty mother of the family, Julie, whose main aim in life was to ensure her family stayed together through the hard times they faced.
Played by Carol Baird with honesty and vigour, she was joined by Julie’s brother Pete, played with understated effect by Chris Cox.
Hazel Hailwood took the role of Gran and Kim Croydon played the church minister James Martin, who eventually became the Briggs family “knight in shining armour”.
Pat Bowker played the part of Martin’s frustrated fiancée, Sylvia, with Helen Coles taking the role of Mr Martin’s mother, and Madeline Adey in the guise of social worker Miss Pearson, who had an intimate knowledge of the family and the truth surrounding their history.
Although at times comic, the production was by equal measure utterly thought provoking, as it provided a timeless reminder of those who have hit on hard times and the little help – often from unlikely sources – which can go a long way toward making a difficult situation just that little bit more bearable.
By KATIE HAMMOND