"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Theatre Company at Christ Church
black holdalls on the carousel, two couples trespassing in a villa in
Spain, one snake on the patio.
Chappell's flimsy farce features a washed-up actor [skilfully caught
by Andy Millward] desperate to be recognised for his soap career in
the 80s, with his bit on the side – Angela Gee making the most of
Dodie off the cheese-spread commercials.
partners in crime are mild-mannered Syd Smith, who should have been
creosoting the fence, and his mousy wife [Helen Langley]. The only
innocent here is Sir Cliff, whose evocative Summer Holiday is the
plot curdles with the arrival of Geoff Hadley's ruthless Rayner – a
strong stage presence – as the sangria flows and confusion is worse
confounded. Not to mention Mad Dog Moon, the dapper axe-man [a nicely
dead-pan Jeremy Pruce].
Wright's production for Phoenix boasts a nice warm set, with
convincing villa furniture and a decorative gecko on the wall. There
are some lively, manic moments, but it would have been good to see
more consistently confident performances, with a cracking pace
building to a satisfying comedy climax.