The lead role in this comedy drama is played by Griff Rhys Jones. Harpagon, convinced that everyone around him is trying to steal his riches, becomes obsessed with protecting his wealth. This impacts directly on the love lives of his son and daughter as he arranges marriages for them designed to add to his (stored up, not to be spent) fortune. The gags in this play are thick and fast - a little too much so and his daughter’s (Elise) squeaky voice drove me to distraction. There is some interaction with the audience, which in opinion seemed misplaced and cheesy (especially the ‘hint’ regarding the play getting a 5 star review) and even some of the mishaps that are funny the first time loose their ‘laugh effect’ when repeated several times over. The staging cleverly shows the miser’s refusal to spend anything of house repairs; there’s a large crack in one of the walls and bits fall occasionally from the ceiling. Despite several over-the-top cahracters the production is energetic and instills the desire to find out just how this farce would end.
Sunday, 7 May 2017
This revised script, originally from the 90’s, is on a 30 week tour of the UK. The play is set in a suite at the Westminster Hotel. A Conservative MP, having an affair with the secretary of the Labour leader, plans to spend the night with her in the hotel but their plans are obstructed when a dead body is found at the window of their suite. But reporting the discovery to hotel staff or calling the police is too logical an option and would deny the audience the sheer farce which follows. The updated political references add to the humour of the script and the cast were energetic in their roles.
The icing on the cake was Ray Cooney himself making an appearance on stage during the curtain call in celebration of his 70th year in theatre.
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
The theatrical production is true to the 2003 movie’s story line. When Dewy is rejected from his rock band he steals his roommates identity and gets a job as a teacher in order to pay his bills. Determined to enter the Battle of The Bands, he converts his students into a rock band. The audience is told right at the start that the children are in fact playing their own musical instruments which saved me some speculation. The talent and energy displayed by the young cast members is phenomenal. Not only are they singing, dancing and playing musical instruments - they’re doing it all whilst putting on American accent. There are three different casts of children and unfortunately I didn’t take note of which cast were performing the night I attended. The adults held their wn too, notably David Fynn in the lead role.
The show is very loud, crazy and a little wild. Unlike the film version which I found a little irritating, this production left me wanting more. I found myself humming Stick It To The Man days later. I can truly say that this is unlike anything I’ve seen by Andrew Lloyd Webber.