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Monday, 10 September 2012 (3030334)
Top performances in laughter-filled farce
by Guest

Not Now Darling

Waterloo and Crosby Theatre Company

Crosby Civic Hall

Review by Jenny Robson

MASTER of farce Ray Cooney co-wrote this with John Chapman in 1967 and the storyline is perhaps better suited to that era - the days when owning a mink coat was almost every girl’s dream.

Pamela Foy has expertly directed the accomplished cast who gelled well in this production set in Bodley, Bodley & Crouch - a London fur emporium.

Tony O’Keefe steals the show as Gilbert Bodley. Taking advantage of his wife being away he tries to seduce the sexy and beautiful Janie McMichael (Claudia Molyneux) who is married to Harry (another good portrayal by Danny Walsh).

You might expect a bedroom scene rather than a fur salon. The scanty plot revolves around the fact that Gilbert wants Janie to have the coat so much that he is prepared to fork out £4,500 of his own money towards the cost.

In true farcical fashion everything disintegrates when Harry’s secretary/mistress arrives – Sue Lawson, another dolly bird played by Becky Weymouth – followed later by her husband Danny (Phill Lawler).

The other Bodley in the firm is wife, Maude (Alison Jones) who returns earlier than planned (of course!) causing Gilbert to tell a string of untruths laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of Arnold Crouch (Les Longley).

Secretary Miss Tipdale (a lovely portrayal by Melanie de Castro) secretly yearns for Crouch and is perfectly turned out with beautifully coiffured hair.

Commander Frencham (Roy Hartley) and his wife (Marian Yates) drop in and out with tales of their car having been towed away (and all for the want of a sixpence!) and Miss Whittington (Sophie Weymouth) completes the cast as a young model who opens and closes the play.

Clothes discarded over the balcony, bras hanging from clock-hands and a myriad double entendres create many laughs!

Score: 3/5 – Amusing shenanigans (but I’m against the wearing of fur)!


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