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“TONS OF MONEY”
Redbourn seem to up their game every time I visit, and this was no exception – for a first night it all appeared to run very smoothly, and the cast were obviously comfortable with each other. The whole production was bright and cheerful, full of energy.
The set for this production was excellent – not only looking good, but working well to facilitate the movement of the cast in this pacey farce. I can always rely on Redbourn to have a classy look set for their plays, nicely dressed set and good attention to detail, even down to the backing for when the doors were open, and the glimpse of the garden through the French doors – the only thing that didn’t ring true was that the doors had no glass in them.
Projection was spot on – every word was heard, and the nuances within the script were marked by the cast so that the audience hopefully laughed in the right places! – although I suspect the audience found humour in places the cast didn’t think they would!
I thought the play was well-
There wasn’t a weak link in the cast – and the presence of newcomer Becky Vernon-
Andy Turner, as her long-
The part of Aunt Ben is a lovely part, and played to the hilt by Hilary Violentano a good foil to the younger two ladies in the cast, but no shrinking violet, she certainly held her own when on stage.
Lucy Goodchild, as Louise’s friend Jean, gave the part loads of energy and expression, which Lucy always gives, but a freshness and purpose too this time.
I liked Mario Violentano and Kim Marston Taylor as Sprules the butler and Simpson the housekeeper – they developed a good relationship and there were some lovely moments when they were trying to communicate with ‘George’ Maitland. They both started off a little tentatively, but grew in confidence over the course of the play.
David Howell as Henery, version 2 of George and brother of Sprules gave an accomplished performance, making the most of his supposed marriage to Jean, creating some humorous moments and I must say that the sombreros, beards and moustaches for all three George’s stayed put and worked really well, if a little over the top to be believable.
The scene where Aubrey was George and went upstairs with Jean and the ensuing creaking bed springs and rocking chandelier was exceedingly funny, and well done.
The final version of George was Matt Pannell, who acted his part well, with good emphasis when he first arrived. I would have liked to see a little more outrage when he found out he wouldn’t inherit – but otherwise a good performance.
Martin Howe as Giles the gardener managed to get all his interjections exactly right, again creating real fun moments – great timing.
The final member of the cast was Clive Crowther as the solicitor Mr Chesterman, a very dry man. Clive created a good foil to the more enthusiastic members of the cast, so the dynamics were good.
The bows were accomplished well. A very enjoyable production, with lots of laughs, good action and reaction, with pace and undoubted enthusiasm. Good to see a new face on stage – and obviously one who interacted well with the rest of the cast and pulled their performance levels up.
“TONS OF MONEY” review date: 15TH MAY 2014
Redbourn Village Hall
Director: June Farmer