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Boundary Players - Tons of Money

10th to 14th May 2011.

This was the NWN review.

Players give 1922 farce a run for its money

Boundary Players: Tons of Money, at the William Penney Theatre, Tadley; from Tuesday, May 10 to Saturday, May 14

Tons of Money by Will Evans and Valentine, performed last week by Boundary Players, was first staged in the West End way back in 1922. Alan Ayckbourn's witty adaptation of the script has ensured that this original farce stands the test of time, and it was a good choice by director Claire Humphreys and producer Paul Robinson.

The action takes place at the home of cash-strapped inventor Aubrey Allington, who inherits a small fortune but realises his creditors will take the lot. Discovering that the money goes to Aubrey's long lost cousin George in the event of his death, Aubrey's wife Louise hatches a plan to stage Aubrey's death and bring him back to life as the cousin. Inevitably the scheme goes awry, and no fewer than three Georges turn up to claim the fortune.

Clive Lewington handled the central role of Aubrey with great confidence - and with some delightful comic highlights at the conclusion of acts one and two.

Pat Archer provided a very level-headed Louise, contrasting nicely with her husband's eccentricities, while Marguerite Luxford turned in a colourful performance as deaf Aunt Benita. Sprules the butler and Simpson the maid (Mick Lee and Alice Grundy) worked well together, and their sign-language provided some fine comic moments. Jim Milne was suitably dignified as the family solicitor; Ruth Tibbetts was well cast as Jean, Louise's friend and George's wife; while Steve Schollar and Bill Cooper made a late appearance as the real George Maitland and his impostor, both projecting their respective characters well despite very heavy fake beards. Finally Richard Mier provided some brilliantly timed monosyllabic comments as Giles the gardener.

Tons of Money is a very enjoyable farce and, though lacking pace in a few places, Boundary Players' production was very well received by the audience. It was also technically accomplished, with a nicely appointed set and well handled lighting and sound cues.