A Few Good Men, by Sudbury Dramatic Society, Quay Theatre, until Saturday
To judge by audience comments as they left the Quay Theatre, Michael Harding’s farewell production was a great spell-binding success.
A Few Good Men was an original Golden Globe winner in 1992, before it became a smash hit movie with Tom Cruise.
This week at the Quay Theatre, the play works its magic through a cast of 14, all strongly performed without a single weak link, despite half the members being very young – in fact, about the ages of young marines stationed at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base before it became infamous after 2000.
At first, it takes a while to get a grip with the complexities of naval routines, the chains of command, and the seemingly cut and dried murder of Private First Class William Santiago on the base by two fellow marines in his unit.
Up-and-coming attorney Daniel Kaffee, and an unwanted henchwoman in the person of Commander Joanne Galloway, have to summon up an impossible defence, which reaches its climax in the final courtroom drama scene.
The set is elegant and stark, with a clever flash back device for some scenes, although the United States flag was missing and would have just added the finishing touch.
Gradually, as each actor plays their part and establishes their individual characters, the play begins to grip, although the American accents began to retreat a little during the evening.
Outstanding performances came from Tom Hollister, Heidi Bernhard-Bubb and Trevor Laver as the main protagonists, supported by an ensemble cast.
The attention to military detail and performances showed high production values and Michael must be justly proud of his cast and production crew.
Do not miss it this week and judge for yourself – and that is an order.