THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND
The College Players,
Mary Redman was the real critic ...
Hound is Tom Stoppard's black comedy that sends theatrical conventions and Agatha Christie-style murder mysteries absolutely sky high. Jokes with words and visual jokes are what he specialises in and completely succeeds in demolishing any scrap of dignity in his subjects. What we see is a play within a play as two theatrical critics take their seats for a run-of-the-mill potboiler they've written about a hundred times.
Following some pre-curtain toing and froing between our heroes Moon and Birdboot energetically and thoroughly played by James Wild and Darren Matthews June Fitzgerald's Mrs Drudge made her entrance on set. Idly dusting the same things over and over again June really came into her own later in the “play”. She's a fearless actor and always mesmerising to watch as when she filled the audience in with the back story.
Richard Spong was a lively cad Simon Gascoyne who also combined ham and bad acting in his pursuit of the money while Claire Hilder's squeaky-voiced ingénue, was the stilted actress as both heroine and tennis-mad jilted girlfriend Felicity. Lindsey Hollingsworth is another actor who can do no wrong. As Lady Cynthia, mistress of all she surveyed, she swept imperiously onstage in a clingy, siren-red 1930s' evening dress.
Harrumphing Major Magnus (Bob Brien) entered into the fun which included the sound effect of his ancient wheelchair bumping down the stairs on the opposite side to where he made his entrance.
As the Inspector Paul Hollingsworth was extremely good value for money. A walking disaster area sartorially he arrived in yellow oilskins with a matching safety helmet crowned with a flashing blue light and massive snows shoes for crossing the Essex swamps. When removed these revealed yet another clothing disaster of mismatched items echoing his mismatched brain cells.
The director Daryl Adcock and his cast did the play proud by entering fully into the mayhem as the critics got involved in a punch up onstage and two of the cast took their places in the “audience”.
Finally many congratulations to the brave Peter Farenden as the corpse who spent the entire production immobile and flat on the floor.
Thank you College Players for a very enjoyable evening.