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A very elegant and sturdy set for the room in the Westminster Hotel, set the scene for what proved to be a hilarious farce, which was excellent on all fronts.

The production was fast-moving, without being too frantic, timing was impeccable, and the cast were at all times aware of each other and the requirements of the movement around the set.  We haven’t laughed so much for a long time, and it was really nice to be able to relax and enjoy a thoroughly good production.

Loved the window – it appeared to perform to order – I think there was only one time when it was slightly out of sync with the action.

So often with farce particularly we are waiting in trepidation for things to go badly wrong, as the slightest variation in pace or position can be calamitous, but I just felt confident from the start that the cast was secure in what they were doing, so I could relax and enjoy myself.  I’m sure it wasn’t 100% what was set, it never is, but there was nothing discernible from an audience point of view.   

There were good contrasts between the actors, which gave dimension and interest, as well as full-on humour, and many double entendres!!

Sean Chalkwright did particularly well as the supposed dead body, he was exceedingly limp and difficult to move when ‘dead’,  and utterly believable in his confusion when he gained consciousness.   We were a little concerned about his head as it suffered a rather heavy bang when it didn’t quite clear the door surround, but there wasn’t a flicker, and how he managed to keep a completely straight face with no movement I shall never know.  Very well done.

I also liked the way the government references were up to date, it gave it all relevance and added to the amusement.

Iain King was Richard, the government Minister, trying to enjoy a dalliance with the opposition leader’s secretary, he kept his persona going the whole time, whilst enduring the many and diverse situations he found himself in.  His situation made you wonder at the common sense of such a man, but then we know that ministers don’t have much CS anyway!!

Corinne Bell in her first outing for Bovingdon played the young lady who was the object of Richard’s affections with the naivety required, Corinne did a really good job, created a very lively character, and certainly looked the part.  She didn’t show any concern at appearing in her underwear, which was good and meant she was comfortable in the part.

Ronnie her very forthright and bolshy husband, was played with a lot of angst by Michael Swietochowski, I particularly liked the two rather dubious scenes with Richard and George – where Ronnie’s head ended up in a rather strange place, which caused confusion for the waiter.  Some very good nuances here.

Robert Peacock who not only directed the play, but played the part of George, Richard’s PPS, gave both elements extreme attention to detail, and I really felt for George in his many dilemmas.  Excellent on both fronts Robert.  The transformation from prim and proper George to a very full-on sex god was very well done.

Roddy Shand, in what could have been a throw-away part as the waiter, really gave it meaning and humour, and added great fun to the proceedings with his rather wry sense of humour.

Anna Murkowski, as the Italian maid created a lovely character, looking totally bemused by the goings on –loved the wedding scene!

I thought Shevon Burrows was a good foil to Richard as his wife Pamela – the scene in the cupboard with a transformed George was left mostly to the imagination, which made it even more funny – well executed by both actors.

Then we had Gladys, nurse to George’s mother, and finally the object of George’s desire.  This part was played in a very down to earth way by Nikki Clough, but also with an eye to the humour of the situation, and the two sides of a nurse, the professional and the decidedly unprofessional sides.

Finally we have Ben Hooker as the hotel manager, who was confused, concerned and generally didn’t quite know what to make of the occupants of rooms 648 and 650.  

It is always a source of delight to me to see small Societies performing in village halls with limited resources, giving us such high standard productions.  I am fully aware of the time and hard work that goes into making a show so good, and Bovingdon Players gave us a production that they can justly be very proud of, and one which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Bovingdon Players

OUT OF ORDER” 22nd March 2013

Bovingdon Memorial Hall

Director: Robert Peacock


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