Billed as two castaway comedies, it stretches the imagination to find a desert island in the middle of Verulamium Park.

So all credit to Breakaway Theatre Company for spotting the possibilities of staging All By Myself and All By Themselves in the garden of the Inn on the Park last week.

Despite a paucity of desert island scenery, it was easy to see why Breakaway saw the potential of staging the Robert Scott comedies outdoors.

And well done to the actors and director Margie Skinner that they managed to convince the audience in the café’s garden that they really were watching events unfold on a desert island.

The two short plays focus on Larry who bemoans his lack of company on the island where he had been shipwrecked seven years before– until he discovers he is not the only one there.

Herts Advertiser: Malcolm Coakley as Larry the LonerMalcolm Coakley as Larry the Loner (Image: TBird)

Not only does he find himself initially with five new shipmates but they also seem to know plenty about the man they had dubbed Larry the Loner.

That sets the scene for the two light-hearted comedies chosen by Breakaway for their summer production.

The plays themselves are frothy, permeated with a vein of humour that is always challenging for amateur drama groups.

But on the whole Breakaway managed to keep on top of the timing required to bring out the best in the comedy.

Malcolm Coakley took the part of Larry and grew into the role as the evening progressed. His flair for humour was at its best in a scene with Zara Gooder’s Nicholson as he attempted to retrieve the raft he had gifted to his fellow castaways.

Elaine Hartless and Paul Murphy as the unlikely Ashworth twins received plenty of support from Zara and fellow castaways Maude Collins Pallett as Pemberton and Ruth Ling as Miller.

Much of the second play was given over to Sam Newgrosh as a strident Irish conwoman and Joanne Page as a hermit.

Altogether a warming production which kept the audience involved as the temperatures fell away and the blankets came out.