BATS REVIEW CRITIC: PAUL COWEN
St Joseph’s Players
SEE HOW THEY RUN (COMEDY)
St Joseph’s Players
See How They Run
As the curtain opened on St Joseph’s latest production we are introduced the drawing room of the local vicarage. What could possibly go wrong?
See How They Run is a farcical comedy from the pen of Philip King, set in the village of Merton-cum-Middlewick in the 1940’s and gives us an insight into the lives of local Reverend – Lionel Toop - and his rebellious, once actress, wife Penelope, whose one of many causes for complaint from the local parishioners is to wear trousers!
A constant visitor to the vicarage is local spinster, Miss Skillon, who pesters Reverend Toop on a daily basis, convinced that Mrs Toop is up to no good. When an old actor friend now turned, Lance Corporal; Clive Winton, calls in to see her, they reminisce thus re-enacting a scene from one of their previous productions and Skillon finds them in a compromising position which convinces her that they are having an affair and she makes it her mission to expose it.
The Bishop (who happens to be Mrs Toop’s Uncle) pays a visit to see his niece and along with the House Maid, a German of War Prisoner, a locum priest and a Sergeant from the local Army, find themselves involved in farcical situations and misinterpreted circumstances that unravel at the end in what is a very entertaining and comedic plot.
Paul Jameson makes an excellent Vicar with all the patience and virtue that this title entails. Clare Nash brings an assured performance to the stage succeeding well in demonstrating the fly by night, carefree approach to her position of The Vicars Wife. Both actors always work well together which is to the benefit of what we see on stage. Ida - the House Maid - was in the very safe hands of Karen Jones whose confidence shone through as she boldly carried out her duties whilst chaos was present all around her. A very solid performance.
As in any comedy we need an actor who is more than capable of delivering the quick on-liners and punchlines along with facial expressions to tell a story and Barbara Mayers as Mrs Skillon was perfect. She commanded the stage and coped admirably being bungled into cupboards /cloakrooms to disguise the fact that she had one too many to drink which was certainly not her trait. An all-round performance that added to the enjoyment of the piece.
Colin Magenty, in the role of The Bishop of Lax, added to the comedic value and as he was tirelessly swept up in the comings and going of the situation that had him chasing around the house.
Darran Nash, Karl Gerrard, Wayne Lythgoe and Pauline Neville complete the line up of characters who all gave excellent individual performances
The set was well constructed, depicting a typical Vicarage drawing room setting that was well set out and used to maximum effect.
Director Donna Wood, has directed several productions at St. Josephs and told me that this was her first attempt at comedy. Well, she has done a sterling job, gathering a very talented, dedicated cast who worked well as a team to bring this well written comedic farce to the stage.
Congratulations to all involved