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A classic Ray Cooney farce, that is fast moving and extremely funny, and one that Redbourn Players did justice to.
As a first outing for Director David Howell, it was a difficult one – but I thought he pulled it off well, with the help of his cast.
The set was excellent – attention to detail first class, even to architraves, doors that opened and shut properly, and no shaky walls. The doors were well placed to allow the cast plenty of room to manoeuvre! Props were good and the set was dressed well. Lighting was good throughout.
The play went at a good pace, however on the night I was there the prompt was needed several times, which slowed the action somewhat, and I felt the prompt was slow to come in at times, possibly because I assume she didn’t have a clear sight of the stage, which was a shame, but perhaps unavoidable when the set is enclosed.
It is always a joy when mics aren’t used – projection is key, everyone spoke well and all the nuances of the script were clear. I was a little perturbed however with the gunshots, they needed to be much crisper.
I thought Andy Turner as Henry and Lucy Goodchild as Jean were a great couple, they played off each other really well, and managed some very complex and funny situations with aplomb.
Lucy’s portrayal started off showing Jean to be a reasonable woman, but becoming more manic and driven the worse the situation became, and increasingly according to the amount of alcohol she imbibed! Lucy always has a good understanding of the roles she plays, makes them believable and she didn’t disappoint.
As the central character, Andy made Henry a rounded if essentially confused man. You can rely on Andy to give an excellent characterisation, which he certainly accomplished well, he seems to get inside the role he’s playing, and facial expressions were a study!
I liked Euan Howell as DS Davenport – his gradual slide from established plain clothes policeman to partner in crime was nicely handled.
Benita Gilliam always plays the character parts so well, Bev the taxi driver was a nice part, showing her frustrations and in the end her wilyness in swopping the money.
Maureen Wallis as Betty was a good contrast to Jean – very calm, but I felt she could have shown a little more reaction when faced with the possibility of a ménage à trois!! I wanted her relationship with Vic to be a little more intense at times.
Vic was played by Jordan Davis, a difficult part to play as an older man, a little more emphasis in some situations would have created a more rounded character, but on the whole nicely accomplished.
Hilary Violentano seems to have cornered the market recently in policewomen – but she did very well again with DS Slater, and entered into the spirit of the confusion, whilst trying to be stern and assertive.
The cast was completed by Mario Violentano, who played the passer by – supposedly Mr Big – a small but essential part which he carried off well.
I, and the whole audience, laughed a lot, and enjoyed a good evening’s entertainment,
which was fast-
review date: 5th May 2018 Redbourn Village Hall
Director: David Howell