Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group presented Daisy Pulls it Off by Denise Deegan in KBS Village Hall. 19th-21st April. The comedy by Denise Deegan is a rollicking tale of a young girl from an elementary school background taking on the prejudices of an upper class private school, Grangewood, and winning through to prove her worth in the face of such bigotry. That, in a nutshell, is the plot of this KBDG production.

First let me say I am in awe of the young girls that took part in the play. It is a wordy piece to say the least, and as far as I could tell they were all word perfect and played their parts with great gusto and conviction. Rebecca Bellis as Daisy Meredith surely has a future in the entertaining arts with such a polished and professional performance. This level of confidence by a young girl on the amateur stage is most impressive.

This isn't to belittle the rest of the young cast, especially Abbie Hale as Trixie Martin, Daisy's best chum, who again had a myriad of lines to deliver, and Ruby Belcher as Head Girl Clare Beaumont who came over well as part of the jolly-hockey sticks set.

At this point I have to say that many of the lines were lost, and I do mean many. The acoustics in this hall aren't the best and unless the lines are delivered directly out into the audience and not upstage as countless were, the words are completely lost. The roof of the hall is high and wood lined, so it absorbs the sounds rather than reflecting it back down into the hall.

This was Director Neil Browning's first venture in such a role, and it showed. It is his responsibility to ensure the actors address the audience and not speak their lines towards the rear of the stage. With such a young cast he has to lead and educate the girls in the etiquette of the stage and not assume they know such things. At one point music is even played over the words being spoken which didn't help matters.

The set was simple to the point of there not being one. Again, I'm afraid, with such a wordy script and hardly any action, the production in parts seemed like a collection of monologues. A proper set would have created the ambience of an imposing grand private school that would have impressed Daisy so much, and indeed the audience.

As a sideline to the main plot, there is hidden treasure at the school which was concealed decades ago by a Beaumont family member. The Beaumonts own the school but are now in need of funds, so Daisy and Trixie make it their business to decipher the clues that will hopefully lead to the hoard.

There were some nice touches with the projected latticed window on the back wall and the comical scene with the portraits (nicely painted) when Daisy and Trixie pretend to be a painting in an empty frame and fool Mr Scoblowski, the teacher played by Mike Lacey.

So, as Daisy shines at all she does at the school, she attracts the wrath of the upper class Sybil Burlington (Andrea Spencer) who as you can imagine is against elementary school girls being allowed into Grangewood. Sybil tries successfully at first to thwart Daisy's efforts and this brings our Daisy to the point of being expelled by Headmistress Miss Gibson played faultlessly, as we've come to expect, by Paula Eastwood. Her entrance at the start of the play was superb as she walked through the hall addressing members of the audience as if they were parents at a speech day or such. Nice touch.

As the play progresses and Daisy wins at everything, including the Hockey County Championship for the school, Sybil and her cohort realise the error of their ways and admit to Miss Gibson it was them who threw a spanner in Daisy's works and made her look a cheat and all round bounder.

This all coincides with Nick Smith as Daisy's father (presumed dead some years before) arriving as if by magic and declaring the Meredith's are in fact part of the Beaumont family, and now the riches have been found all is tickety boo.

Daisy Pulls it Off was a bold attempt by KBDG and they may themselves have pulled it off if more of the words had reached the eager audience. However it was a treat to see the young cast members so enthusiastic and competent in their respective parts. Well done girls.