Driftwood Players

"The Bat" November 1963

By Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood, Directed by Richard Robson and Jane Mezera

Vicki Webber, Alfred Persson, Maxine L'Ecuyer

Rodney Payton, James Luark, Robert Speight


Pictures by
Leslie's Studio

From The Aberdeen Daily World, Saturday, November 16, 1963

'Bat' Thriller-Diller At Harbor Playhouse

By Barbara Elliott

A cast and production staff from the Driftwood Players proved last night that the old Thriller-Diller, "The Bat," is still entertaining theater.

Theater goers who braved the elements to turn out for the opening performance at the Driftwood Playhouse in Cosmopolis were amply rewarded with an evening of chills, thrills and chuckles.

"The Bat" is not an easy play for amateurs to produce, especially within the limitations of small theater-in-the-round. But the directors, Richard Robson and Jane Mezera, did a commendable job of bringing the classic mystery-comedy to life.

There was plenty of well-executed action in the production, and the suspense build-up was excellently contrived.

Maxine L'Ecuyer in her first Driftwood appearance did a really fine portrayal of the elderly spinster, Miss Cornelia Van Gorder, and as far as we could tell, she never once let the characterization slip.

Comedy relief in the thriller was provided by Betty Jean Gretsch, a veteran Driftwood performer, who did her usual excellent work as a character actress and admirably refrained from overplaying the role as Lizzie, Miss Van Gorder's maid of 20 years.

Attractive Vicki Webber performed very well as Dale Ogden, niece of Miss Van Gorder. Also giving a creditable performance was John Edward Eko as Brooks, who is secretly engaged to Miss Ogden.

Alfred Persson, whose fine speaking voice adds greatly to any production, smoothly handled the role of Anderson, the detective.

And Rodney Payton did a good job in the difficult characterization of Dr. Wells.

Rounding out the cast are Robert Seight as Reginald Beresford, Paul Miller as the unknown man, James Luark as Roger Fleming and Steve Rouska as Billy, the oriental houseboy, all of whom are to be commended for performances that contributed to the over-all enjoyment of the play.

We would be much amiss if we didn't comment on the excellence of the lighting and sound effects, which created a wonderfully eerie atmosphere for playing out the plot of the mystery.

"The Bat" is a lot of fun and we can recommend it for all mystery fans--and who isn't?

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