'LOOK WHO'S TALKING', performed by Boundary Players, at The William
Penney Theatre, Aldermaston, from Tuesday, May 14 to Saturday, May 18
'Look Who's Talking' by Derek Benfield has all the ingredients of a good farce: ordinary characters caught up in extraordinary events, a good dose of comedy, classic
one-liners, and moments of hilarious slapstick.
At the centre of the story are Sheila and Andrew, a married couple preparing Sunday lunch, both blissfully unaware of their alcohol-clouded indiscretions of the previous week. Enter Brian, who claims that Sheila had ended up in his flat following a girls' night out, and Carole, with whom Andrew had apparently agreed to run away to Italy at an office party - and the fun really begins. The plot twists and turns towards a tidy, if slightly improbable, conclusion.
The problem with farce is that it relies heavily on good timing and pace, something that Boundary Players struggled hard to provide. Some of the players seemed to be suffering from nerves on Friday night, with a substantial number of prompts and awkward pauses. This was a shame, as much of the comic effect was lost during the first half. Thankfully, the cast gathered pace after the interval, and the audience gladly responded to the more lively delivery.
Clive Lewington gave a typically strong performance as Andrew, Denise Hobbs was well cast as Sheila's friend Jane, and Richard Mier put plenty of energy into his role as the ingratiating Brian. Davina Harris played the part of Carole with quiet subtlety, while
Jean Mead as Sheila gradually picked up confidence after a shaky start.
Technically, Colin Webb's production was faultless, with a characteristically good set, strong support front-of-house, and effective sound and lighting.
The group celebrates its 50th anniversary next season and I wish them well with the special productions planned to mark the event.