Boundary Players - Bedroom Farce
27th to 21st January 2004.
From the Newbury Weekly News.
Night time capers
Boundary Players: Bedroom Farce, at the William Penney Theatre, Tadley, from Thursday, January 27 to Saturday, January 31
Four couples, three bedrooms, one busy night. If you think sounds like a recipe for fun, games and disaster, you'd be right.
Trevor and Susannah's relationship is fraught and tempestuous, it can disturb parents, destroy a party and, worst of all, it can keep everyone up nearly all night.
In Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce the stage is set with three bedrooms, that of Trevor's parents, of Jan and Nick (Jan being one of Trevor's old flames) and of Malcolm and Kate, the poor couple who hold the party that Trevor and Susannah so successfully ruin with their arguments. The action switches from one room to the other and the plot unfolds during one very action packed night.
Director Pat Archer had a good, well-balanced cast at her disposal and although there were a few sticky moments, script-wise, on the first night, it was great entertainment.
As Ernest, Colin Benham was first-class in his delivery and characterisation and Sue Barham complemented him well as his wife Delia - both portraying a nice, lived-in relationship - in love(?), but more content to discuss the leak in their roof and eat sardines on toast in bed.
George Menarry as Nick provided good comedy, his character being completely confined to his bed area throughout the performance owing to his excruciatingly painful back and Chris Horton, taking on the role of Jan his wife at short notice, was impressive.
As Kate and Malcolm the newlyweds, constantly playing tricks on each other, Alice Grundy and Clive Lewington handled their roles and all the accompanying business particularly well. As the troublesome couple, Steve Schollar created a horribly tiresome and little-boy-lost Trevor, looking perfectly awkward and Leigh Hewitt was spot on as the distracted and neurotic Susannah.
Boundary Players had the advantage of being able to use their large stage to good effect - they could accommodate three full size double beds! A complex lighting plot was required as the lights switched from bedroom to bedroom, and this was well-handled and cued by the crew.
Bedroom Farce is not so dark some of the later Ayckbourn comedies and provides plenty of good laughs and is very suitable for a mixed audience of all ages - this was evident from a super response from the audience on the first night.