Tish Marshall directs this hilarious farce which left the audiences in stitches
So swift is the action, so involved the situations, so rib-tickling the plot in this London hit that at its finish audiences are left as exhausted from laughter as though they had run a foot race. Galloping in and out of the four doors of an English vicarage are an American actor and actress (he is now stationed with the Air Force in England), a cockney maid who has seen too many American movies, an old maid who "touches alcohol for the first time in her life," four men in clergyman suits presenting the problem of which is which (for disguised as one is an escaped prisoner), and a sedate Bishop aghast at all these goings-on and the trumped up stories they tell him.
Ida - Pia Obank
Miss Skillon - Eve Berry
The Rev Lionel Troop - Nick Wyse
Penelope Troop - Tracy Perkins
Lance-Corporal Clive Winton - Nigel Bacon
The Intruder - Charlie Edgley
The Bishop of Lax - Andrew MacTavish
The Rev Arthur Humphrey - Paul Brown
Sergeant Towers - Steve Stott
Choir Boy - Philip Charlesworth
"Laugh? I nearly lost my trousers"
(Bucks Free Press Review by Archie Wilson)
Although the farce was popularised by Brian Rix it isn't everybody's cup of tea, relying as it does on rather obvious gags, trouser dropping and often lunatic romping through the stage entrances and exits by cast members.
Acting in a farce even more than a normal comedy, required acute direction, pin-point timing and fastish pace, otherwise it tends to fall into the unintentional pantomime class.
Director Tish Marshall and the Lane End Players are clearly very well aware of these strictures because See How They Run met them all with plenty to spare.
This was a splendid example of the art form, well cast timed to perfection and above all, very, very funny.
I shall never know how Nick Wyse as the Reverend Lionel Troop managed to keep a straight face while the chaos descended all around him, but manage it he did despite the drunken attentions of the spinsterish Miss Skillon (Eve Berry) who had a habit of disappearing into a cupboard every five minutes.
Lance Corporal Winterton played by the irresistible Nigel Bacon flirted outrageously with the rather flighty Penelope Troop (Tracy Perkins), while Andrew MacTavish's pompous bishop found himself running about in his dressing gown for most of the play.
Pia Obank, as dippy Ida the maid, was outstanding. Her broad accent, gestures and facial expressions had the audience in tears of laughter as she wreaked havoc among the rest of the household.
One of the features of the Lane End Players' productions has always been a well constructed set and this was no exception.
It richly deserved the applause it received as the curtains opened on the cast in the final curtain.
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