THEATRE: A talkie about a silent movie comes to Shinfield Players Theatre

Slapstick comedy Mack and Mabel comes to Shinfield Players Theatre
Slapstick comedy Mack and Mabel comes to Shinfield Players Theatre

A SLAPSTICK comedy harking back to the golden days of silent movies is coming to Shinfield this weekend.

Mack and Mabel, a musical which is based loosely on the tumultuous relationship between Hollywood director Mack Sennett and waitress-turned-Hollywood-starlet Mabel Normand, is a throwback to the times of over-the-top car chases, large orchestral accompaniment and, of course, very few words.

Director Carol Vockins let slip a few of the surprises in store for the audience, including video imaging, a life-sized stage horse and a full-on custard pie fight!

She said: “It’s hysterical, the rehearsals have gone very well, something along the lines of organised chaos if you will.

“The cast are all doubling up on their characters which is a big ask, but they have really taken to it wonderfully. We even have tap-dancing for the very first time in a Shinfield Players show, thanks to our choreographer Laura-Anne Putterford.

“It’s a love story, told through a series of flashbacks. Mack is remembering Mabel, how he met her and fell in love, but it is quite poignant and emotional at the end, we’re expecting a few tears.

“We have all the hallmarks of the silent movie, we have a set of Keystone Cops who are involved in a chase scene, and when Mabel is on the horse we have video playing in the background of Wild West footage. It is silly, but it has some serious tones.”

Tap-dancing isn’t the only speciality that the Players will see in this show, the show will also feature a full orchestra, just like in the silent movies.

Chairman Graham Vockins said: “We will have the backing of a full orchestra on tape which certainly gives the show more authenticity. It is unexpected, our audiences don’t expect to see or hear that kind of thing in a theatre of our size, but modern technology makes it possible.”

Mack and Mabel, which stars Kevin Goodfellow and Charis Luke in the title roles, opens at the Shinfield Players Theatre on Friday April 21 and runs until April 29. Tickets are £12, £11 for concessions. For more information and to book visit



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