A Bolt From The Blue
by David Tristram
The cast of 'A Bolt from the Blue' and a scene from the play with Ted Nugent and Edward Jones in disguise
Edward Jones worked for a utilities company performing maintenance on electricity pylons. For fifteen years Edward had performed high altitude tasks without incident. Then one day, on his forty-fifth birthday, something occurred which would radically change the rest of Edward’s life. He was struck by lightning. There was no warning; no brooding storm; no rumble of thunder. Out of a clear blue sky he was hit by a bolt of lightning which sent him hurtling to the ground some sixty feet below. Edward was lucky to survive such a dramatic incident but it was not long before he was fit and well again and once more scaling pylons as if nothing had happened. "Better do this job whilst I'm still able", though Edward. "After all I'm not getting any younger". How wrong can you be?
This zany, fast moving, hilariously funny play, follows the fortunes of Edward Jones when the full effects of his accident become apparent. You’ll laugh and cry as a cast of ten enact the adventures of Edward as he struggles to come to terms with his life changing experience.
Cast and Crew
| Female Narrator
Director: Dave Baldwin
|Stage Manager||Richard Worreall|
|Lighting||Dave Shaw & Rhodri Morris|
|Costume and Props||Stella Truscott|
|Special Effects||Clive Watkins|
Dates and Venues
|25th & 26th March 2011||Upton Bishop Millennium Hall|
|1st April 2011||Tarrington Village Hall|
|2nd April 2011||Fownhope Village Hall|
|8th April 2011||Woolhope Village Hall|
|9th April 2011||Goodrich Village Hall|
|15th April 2011||Burghill Village Hall|
|16th April 2011||Brockweir McKenzie Hall|
KAREN RICHARDSON'S REVIEW FROM THE WOOLHOPE HERALD
Edward Jones was just an ordinary man, doing ordinary things — until
the day before his fortieth birthday. What happened next was, quite
literally, incredible. It defied belief. It defied logic. It defied the
fundamental laws of science and nature. But it happened. And it came
like a Bolt from the Blue.
Once again, Bare Bones provided an absolutely hilarious evening of
entertainment with their wonderful performance of Bolt From the Blue,
an adaptation of a David Tristram novel of the same name. A weird and
very quirky comedy (invisible dogs, crows harpooned to trees,
exploding fruit flies), with sound effects to make you jump out of your
seat. The cleverest thing about this play was that it still remained very
poignant, despite men in pink trouser suits! With twenty different
characters, but only a cast of thirteen, everyone had to keep on their
toes, but all were ably assisted by the two narrators, Amanda Watkins
and Dave Baldwin who set the scenes and moved on the plot with
wonderful comic timing.
So what did happen that fateful day, before Edward Jones’ 40th
Birthday? Basically, he got struck by lightning while up a pylon eating a
ham sandwich! Then he fell into a slurry pit!! Not his day really.
Fortunately, the local farmer was at hand, (played by Gordon Beard,
though many of us thought Norman Williams had joined the cast), so
Edward was soon in hospital being resuscitated with a pair of irons!
Gordon Stewart as the smooth talking charismatic Dr Rogers was a joy
to watch, and immediately brought to mind Lesley Phillips of Carry On
fame. Such a contrast to Edward’s gormless wife Mary, (played
beautifully by Denise Hall), who seemed to have little idea of the
seriousness of her husband’s accident, or the fact that he was missing an
eyebrow! All she seemed worried about was whether or not he could
guess what she had bought him for his birthday. "Is it an eyebrow?"
may have amused the audience, but it didn’t seem to amuse the wife!
Five years on, and Dr Nugent, the ‘bald’ hair specialist is trying to solve
the mystery of Edward’s disappearing bald patch. Howard Jones as Ted
Nugent was just wonderful, and the interplay between Ted and Edward
is an essential part of this play. When Ted seems to have trouble
telling Edward why he now has a full head of hair, Edward demands he tell
him in a nutshell what the problem is. As the doctor continues to
procrastinate, an increasingly Eustrated Edward shouts "I meant a
peanut shell, not a coconut shell". So what do you do when told you
are getting younger by the day? How does one cope with such life
changing news? Well dress up in a pink trouser suit of course! Yes,
undoubtedly one of the most visually hilarious scenes of the
night saw our patient and the doctor meet up in the park,
disguised as I am not sure what but Edward in a pink trouser suit
and Ted in a frothy chiffon number brought the house down.
At the same time, a mis-understanding between Edward’s
wife and her brother,(the ever versatile Mr Stewart), about
a missing trouser suit and a cross dressing husband, meant the
audience struggled for breath between the roars of laughter.
Another visual masterpiece was the sight of Jane Jones,
(as Sarah, the local witch), taking her collar and lead for a walk,
(remember that invisible dog I mentioned — an overdose of banana
extract apparently). A very clever piece of casting for those who saw a
previous Bare Bones production of Sylvia. In the final scene, where Edward
discovers that one of Sarah’s many experiments did in fact work, it would seem
nothing could stand in the way of true love? Sadly a happy ending was
not to be, as Sarah then explodes, just like her fruit flies! As for the
astonishing final twist in this wonderful play, well that certainly
got the audience scratching their heads, but I think we all got there in the end!
Benjamin Button may have been a Hollywood blockbuster, but Bolt
from the Blue was surely a Woolhope winner!