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Silchester Players - Run For Your Wife

5th to 6th and 19th to 20th October 2007.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

In the farce lane

Silchester Players: Run For Your Wife, at Silchester Village Hall, on Friday, October 5, Saturday, October 6, Friday, October 19, Saturday, October 20

Anyone who believes that classic bedroom farce is dead should take note: it's alive and well and living in Silchester.

Last week, Silchester Players performed the vintage romp Run for your Wife by Ray Cooney master of the scantily-clad double entendre. The script had been subtly updated, showing no signs of ageing, and, with the help of Tim Oliver's assured direction, the cast gave a slick and fast-paced performance with remarkably few prompts and fluffs.

The plot revolves around bigamist cab-driver John Smith (played with his usual sparkle by Brian Gillett), who manages to maintain his double life with the help of a tight schedule, unpredictable shifts and more than a little luck. All goes well until he is concussed by a flying handbag during a street brawl and is brought home from hospital to the wrong wife. As he tries to regain control of his complicated life and hoodwink two spouses and two detectives with ever-more unlikely stories, he digs himself into a hole, dragging with him an unwilling accomplice, his neighbour Stanley - brilliantly played by Tony Oliver, whose timing and versatility added greatly to the humour of the performance.

As the two contrasting police sergeants - traditionalist sleuth DS Troughton and the charmingly liberal DS Porterhouse - John Coffin and Alan Moorhouse were very well cast, while Fay Bennett and Sarah Oliver both gave strong and convincing performances as the two wives, whose blissful ignorance gradually turned to stunned credulousness as the play developed. Leanne Qurrey made a brief appearance as a reporter, while Roy Glancey's portrayal of the outrageously camp neighbour Bobby was unforgettable. The play is set in two flats, with the action often occurring simultaneously in both locations. This calls for a simple but very versatile set, and Tim Oliver's design was both attractive and functional, with well cued lighting and sound from Keith Graham. Overall, a strong production and a hilarious performance from the players.