Run For Your WifeMay 2006
Click to enlarge
Run For Your Wife - by Ray Cooney
Performed - Wed 17th to Sat 20th May 2006
John Smith, a taxi driver, has two wives! After receiving a blow to the head he forgets where he is and that he is a bigamist with two addresses. When the police visit him he has to start inventing stories resulting in confusion and wonderful farcical hilarity ensues. Side-splittingly funny!
Playgoers produce an enjoyable farce
I have to say at the outset that I am not a great lover of farce. In fact I have sat in auditoriums praying for the lead character to tell the truth so that it could all be over with.
So what of Boston Playgoers? Run For Your Wife, which I saw at Blackfriars Arts Centre last Friday?
The opening was excellent, the finely-timed choreography of the two leading ladies (Melanie Clark and Suzanne Lynch) moving about their flats to a Sinatra soundtrack was well directed and adeptly executed.
Melanie and Suzanne, playing the two Mrs Smiths, went on to give good performances. Suzanne's endearing 'Essex girl' was a nice contrast to the more demure other Mrs Smith who was equally believable as she became more and more exasperated.
I much enjoyed the first act, well written with the humour coming from various situations and characters.
Neil Harvey was well cast as the bigamist frantically trying to cover up his misdemeanours. His 'rabbit caught in headlights' face certainly hit the right note with the audience and he gave a convincing comedy performance throughout.
Two favourite characters were the detectives - Jon Molson's pondering Porterhouse and the more aggressive 'Sweeney' style of Troughton, equally well played by Dave Edgar.
Act two was not as well written, I felt, relying too much on homosexual jokes. That said, the cast never let up the tempo, and the timings of the comings and goings were well handled.
Which brings me to Stanley - a real gem of a character, a hapless neighbour getting drawn into John Smith's world of deceit - excellently played by Phil Landshoft, who showed great comic timing throughout.
So did Playgoers turn me on to farce? Well, not quite, but very close! The directors and actors had worked hard to produce a very professional production which I greatly enjoyed.
What is obvious is that Playgoers have a better stable of very good comedy actors than they have had for some time. Well done and bring on Fawlty Towers!
Pete Read / Boston Standard 24/05/06
Actors names on right:
Mary Smith - Melanie Clark
Barbara Smith - Suzanne Lynch
John Smith - Neil Harvey
Detective Sergeant Troughton - David Edgar
Stanley Gardner - Phil Landshoft
Detective Sergeant Porterhouse - Jon Molson
Reporter - Paul Gibson
Bobby Franklin - Pete Grimshaw
Director - Judith Hall & Glyn Ruskin
Producer - Glyn Ruskin
Stage Manager - Bob Green
Set Design - Paul Gibson
Set Construction - Paul Gibson and members of playgoers
Stage Crew -
Costume - Glyn Ruskin, Liz Worsley
Furniture & Properties - Paul Gibson, Liz Worsley
Lighting - John Knight
Sound - John Knight
Poster - Patrick Hall
Programme - Patrick Hall
Make Up -
Prompt - Lucy Taylor