THE struggles of two very different groups of women were superbly portrayed in a pair of amateur productions performed back-to-back at Lancing Parish Hall on Thursday night.
Lancing Repertory Players took to the stage to tell two tales of friendship and camaraderie in the face of adversity.
First on the bill was Richard James’ White Lies, a one-act wonder set in a restaurant where four old college friends meet, 30 years after graduating.
Annabelle Heath’s performance as gold digger Bea perfectly captured the character’s vanity and dubious morals.
Carol Clark was modest, caring and witty as housewife Ruth, while Rosie Snow played troubled playwright Judith brilliantly.
Marlene Tincknell played ex-con Pam with honesty and assertiveness, and George Lake was convincing and funny as the downtrodden waiter who played his part in Bea’s comeuppance as the others conspired to knock her down a peg or two.
The witty, entertaining script and the cast’s great on-stage chemistry made White Lies a thoroughly enjoyable performance.
Allan Williams’s After the Flags and Bands was quite different altogether.
The moving tale of four women left behind at the outbreak of war in 1914 was beautifully told by the four actresses.
Susie Pickett was bold and funny as mum of two Annie, while Meg Lake was likeable and innocent as young servant Lizzie, and Billie Poulton came across demure, thoughtful and caring as nurse Edith.
Each actress was worth noting, but Carolyn’s outstanding performance as Olive was particularly striking: her agony seemed only too real.
Portraying the women’s experiences through a mix of monologues and letters gave the audience a personal, almost private glimpse of how the war affected those left at home.
It was a triumph and a timely, sombre reminder of the sacrifices made by so many brave men and women both on the battlefields and on the home front.