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Bedroom Farce was a good evening’s entertainment – with plenty of fast-moving and well-directed action.

The set was extremely good – and worked very well for such a small performance space. The three bedrooms, two on the flat and one on a rostra gave each couple and their various visitors plenty of space, and considered lighting made it clear which room we were looking at –very well-conceived, and also kept the flow of the play going, which is always of prime importance with something like this – no chance for audience attention to wander.  The rooms were well-dressed, giving a clue to the personalities of the different couples and the state of their lives.

I felt that several of the actors started the evening either a little diffidently or with too much emphasis on their characters, but over the course of the play, the characterisations were ironed out, and everyone settled into their characters well.

Joy Hester and Dan Clucas as the older couple, Delia and Ernest got a good relationship – based on the longevity of their marriage – the acceptance that eating pilchards on toast in bed was the norm was a good premise, and one which caused some amusement!  There were a few cases when they slowed the action a little, but on the whole a believable couple.

Steven J Davies as Nick gave his usual fine performance, spending the whole of the play in bed must have been quite difficult, mainly, I would think  from the point of view of keeping awake!!  I particularly liked the falling out of bed episode, and liked even more the getting back into bed episode, when Lisa Fitzgerald as Nick’s wife Jan managed to manhandle him back onto the bed – and ended up in a super funny situation.  Very well-rehearsed with all areas covered!

Lisa created a good character as Jan – ducking and diving between Nick and Trevor – two fairly annoying men in their own right!!

I thought that Malcolm Emms as Malcolm and Lucy Palmer as Kate were the most diverse and perhaps not completely suited of the couples, however, much of what they did was extremely well-managed and got the humorous aspect.  Kate did very well to get changed into her dress under the bedclothes with just a slight ripple visible – and I loved the making and destruction of the chest of drawers.

I would have liked Malcolm to have been a bit more full-on – as it was obvious he was a very ebullient person, so needed just that little bit extra as a contrast to the other actors, which I know Malcolm is capable of.

Adam Briffett as Trevor and Mariam Gaballa-Gill as Susannah were the only couple without a bedroom – but they managed to frequent everyone else’s perfectly, and the ensuing misunderstandings and arguments were well-controlled and insensitive – as they needed to be.

For me, Mariam was the star of this particular play, she got the most rounded character, and stayed with her characterisation the whole way through, no lapses or variation – I loved the meltdown that occurred and they way she talked herself round.

I could really believe too, how annoying Trevor was to everyone.  Adam gave a really good portrayal, getting all the nuances of a pedantic young man – with lots of hang-ups and a strange view of relationships – but then that was understandable when you looked at his parents!!!

The episodes of funny business throughout the play were very well-rehearsed, and seemed to happen as a matter of course, they just flowed – which I liked, as there was no preparation for what was going to happen – it just happened – which made it all the more real in a strange way!!

There were a couple of places when I wanted a little more from the actors, and

I also felt there were some opportunities missed for even more humour, but in the main the play was nicely acted and we were able to see the diversity of the characters and their marriages.

Once again, an enjoyable evening from BTC, with a very good set, and integrated cast.

Berkhamsted Theatre Company

BEDROOM FARCE” 4th April 2014

The Court Theatre, Pendley

Director: Iain Fowles


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