Sunday, October 13, 2013


Guildonians at the Little Theatre

"I can't believe what's happened in this house today …"
Well, that's farce for you. Seven doors, three phones, and over fifty sound cues.
Ray Cooney's smash-hit Caught In The Net – sequel to Run For Your Wife – is a gem of the genre. But, like all farce, it is a challenge for any company, and devilish difficult to do well. The experienced farceurs of the Guildonians rose magnificently to this challenge, and kept the matinée audience in stitches.
If you've seen Run For Your Wife, you'll recognize the two superimposed lounges, lived in, alternately, by bigamous cabbie John Smith. Tom Hind was pleasingly credible as a taxi driver who's partial to Kit Kats and Mars Bars, "with enough energy for two people". Deft, precise delivery, with impressive set pieces including a tour de force final solution. His best friend, and long-time layabout lodger Stanley was confidently done by Tony Szalai, excellent at thinking on his feet, and increasingly frantic as the complications piled up.
As before, the two women have relatively little to do, but Angela Riches gave a nice spare-time stress counsellor, with Gill Bernie as the more mumsy Mary.
The children [it's fifteen years and two pregnancies since the earlier show] who meet online – a novelty back in 2000 – are Andrew Spong and Beth Smith, who both seemed very much at home in the world of farce, where pace and momentum preclude much reflection.
Alas, nothing is seen of "potty Auntie Rosie in the attic", but we do meet Stanley's confused old dad [Peter Farenden], dapper in his holiday togs, who had some great laugh lines and a couple of spectacular tumbles.
Chrissie O'Connor's slick production handled the doors, the phones and the cues with some style, with very few lapses of pace.
And in a master-stroke of product placement, those all-important locks on the doors were supplied by Open Locksmiths.
Who will sponsor the next Guildonians show – Agatha Christie's much re-badged And Then There Were None ?

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