Award-winning is one thing, but to keep the audience laughing through the whole show is another - and “Two Treats and a Trifle” at the Studio Theatre did just that.

Two Treats and a Trifle was performed at the Studio Theatre in Salisbury on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, and was promised to be a “delicious evening of award-winning comedy.”

The show combined three short plays: English For Pony Lovers, Violetta and Lady Molly of Scotland Yard.

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The first of the three, English for Pony Lovers, was my favourite. It told the story of Elke (Rachel Fletcher), a German teacher trying to improve her English, and Lorna (Aine Tiernan), a young adult on her gap year, who had ended up in a small German town. Lorna fraudulently tries to give Elke an English lesson – hiding the fact that she is not actually a qualified teacher.

The play, originally from the BBC radio series “Double Acts”, hilariously highlighted the complexities of English grammar, notably through Rachel Fletcher’s excellent German accent, and her clever mannerisms showing the baffling nature of learning English. Her Best Actress award at the Totton Festival of Drama was certainly well deserved.
Salisbury Journal: English for Pony LoversEnglish for Pony Lovers (Image: Studio Theatre)

Aine Tiernan was excellent at playing Lorna - who was clueless when it came to teaching English as a foreign language. Her nonchalant tone in explaining different words and tenses, from double using the word “had” to what the word “wispy” meant – “thin and a bit rubbish” - generated many laughs from the audience. 

In between the two plays was operatic skit “Violetta”. Labelled as “La Traviata goes wrong”, four cast members from The Awfully Earnest Opera Society performed the infamous opera through spoken word, grotesque movements and of course a dramatic ending. It was a funny, unique adaption of the original opera and was the perfect “sandwich” in between the two plays.

The final performance, Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, had a larger cast of seven actors, and some even multi-rolled as they told the tale of the exciting Ninescore mystery murder case.

A special mention has to be given to Paul Chalmers, who was fantastic in playing multiple characters using different accents and movements, and he came to be an audience favourite.

Salisbury Journal: Lady Molly of Scotland Yard

I found the set and costume, cleverly designed by Theo Ross, Alex Grant and Anthony von Roretz, to be particularly effective in this final play. Set and costume changes were subtle, such as signs on an easel to show the change of location or a costume rack onstage but worked really well in ensuring the fast-paced nature of the play did not feel rushed.

On Saturday night, actor and president of the Studio Theatre Christopher Biggins came to Salisbury  to watch Two Treats and a Trifle. 

He announced that he was hugely impressed by the production, and that this was his second visit since he took over as president last year.

Salisbury Journal: Chris Biggins with the cast of "Violetta", Peter Mitchell, Pam Edmund and Keith Edmund.

The Salisbury Studio Theatre team have done a fantastic job in putting these three performances together, and they were all loved by the audience. Unfortunately it was only a two-night run, but should “Two Treats and a Trifle” be re performed, I would recommend you get yourself a ticket.