"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Friday, November 30, 2012
CASH ON DELIVERY
New Venture Players at Brentwood Theatre
everyday story of death, benefit fraud and cross-dressing by Michael
Cooney, son of the more famous Ray.
a new play – we have a mobile and a trimphone in uneasy coexistence
– but seems much older, with Carry On jokes and the sort of farce
Orton, Bennett and Frayn had mocked years earlier.
perky brass theme, torrential rain, and ten minutes of solid
plot-laying before we're into a morass of mistaken identity,
improbable twists and manufactured mayhem typical of the genre.
never seen this professionally done. But it seems to me you need two
things to make it work, to have the audience helpless with laughter.
"Solid oak doors", rather than passageways, and a frantic
pace, built and sustained through the set pieces. It only takes a
moment's hesitation or stumbling to kill a scene.
were some strong performances in Fred Sampson's uninspired
production: Roy Hobson's fussy little Mr Jenkins understood his
character and its function, as did Phil Foster as Dr Chapman. Richard
Spong, as the young lodger who's the unwitting centre of the scam,
had commendable energy, and Chris Wilkins did what she could with the
one-dimensional wife. And Vernon Keeble-Watson, as the "sweet
old man" Uncle George, gave an outrageous performance, and got
the biggest laugh with his perfectly placed pocket handkerchief.
Butter for the fish, it's called in Dutch ...
Brentwood this week, Arsenic and Old Lace - with the
all-important window seat under the actual window, this time ...