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Mortimer Dramatic Society - Kindly Keep It Covered

18th to 26th October 2013.

Review from Newbury Theatre and the Newbury Weekly News.

All's fair in farce

Mortimer Dramatic Society: Kindly Keep It Covered, at Mortimer Village Happ, on Friday, October 18, Saturday, October 19, Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26

Former insurance salesman Roland runs a health spa, aided by his wife Julia and mother-in-law Olivia. The money for this came from an insurance payout on the death of Julia’s first husband Sidney. When Sidney turns up, very much alive, Roland’s problems start to multiply, and he is forced to tell a string of lies to Julia and Olivia, and to a new guest Vanessa, who is the wife of his former boss.

Kindly Keep It Covered is a farce by Dave Freeman, and like all farces needs to go at a cracking pace. Mortimer Dramatic Society had no problems with this, and it sped through at just the right level of zaniness.

Ian Beavon played the henpecked Roland (the main part in the play) with energy and confidence – perhaps too much confidence at times, as his set of increasingly tall stories seemed to come too glibly. Cathy Ramsell was an efficient and business-like Julia.

As the domineering Olivia, Melanie Sherwood gave a strong and confident performance, and Nick Pounder’s Sidney was a tour de force with great comic timing and energy as well as a good French accent (and a pretty impressive torso too).

James Burton Stewart seemed a little nervous as Mr Hooper, the food stealer, relaxing more in Act 2 after he downed some beers. Eva Stone’s Vanessa was suitably bemused and there was a lovely misunderstood conversation between her and Sergeant Campbell (a good performance from Mary Auckland, with some wonderful facial expressions).

The play has some very funny moments: the confusion about the meaning of pigeons and picnic hampers, the mysterious McTavish, the camel in the swimming pool, and it builds to an hilarious ending with Sidney in fairy costume and a naked McTavish in the chimney – you had to see it!

The set looked good, with a smart décor including modern art on the walls and a fountain with an impressive gurgle. Director Tom Shorrock kept tight control of the action and made good use of all the space.

A fast-paced production that was well acted and good fun.