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The Mill at Sonning - Perfect Wedding

28th September to 18th November 2017.

Review from the Newbury Weekkly News.

Marital mayhem at the Mill

Great comic timing provides two hours of entertainment

Perfect Wedding, at The Mill at Sonning, until November 18

Not a good start on his wedding day when a bridegroom wakes up in the bridal suite of a posh hotel with an attractive, naked woman in bed beside him.

With splendid comic timing throughout, Kikki Lawton, as Bill, leaps out of bed and yells "Who are you?" at the unfortunate young woman. "Don't you know?" she asks. His next question is "Did we?", but Carta Freeman as Judy, with an expression of bemusement, is surprised to find that he doesn't know that either.

Time is moving along though and his bride, Rachel, nicely underplayed by Lucy Heath, is due to arrive at the hotel any minute. Best man Tom, a good comic characterisation by Joseph Timms, arrives next and is distressed when Bill bullies him into saying that the girl in the bed is his girlfriend. But as Judy retreats into the bathroom and chambermaid Julie (Finty Williams) enters the bedroom by another door, the hapless Tom mistakes her for the girlfriend and begins persuading her to keep up the pretence.

But hang on, there's yet another complication… Judy, who Tom hasn't seen yet, actually is his girlfriend.

And there we have the ingredients for the opening act of a typical farce, which the actors play to the hilt, with swift, crisp movement in and out of doors and lots of fast talking and misunderstandings galore. There is some first class ensemble acting here from the six players, not forgetting Elizabeth Elvin as the bride's mother, who takes her daughter to one side and comforts her, murmuring "Men, they're all the same".

This was a very funny, fast-moving farce, with plenty of humorous lines. When somebody goes missing, Tom says that she has gone off in a huff. "Why?" asks Julie. "Were there no trains?"

Two parts were particularly long and rewarding – Bill the groom and Julie the chambermaid – and both Rikki Lawton and Finty Williams were excellent in their portrayals with the rest of the cast supporting extremely well.

Elizabeth Elvin had lots of opportunity to play a sympathetic mother of the bride and did so consistently.

Robin Hawdon's play is very well structured and, in spite of the convoluted plot, still managed to resolve satisfactorily in the end. Ron Aldridge's fast-paced direction ensured a thoroughly entertaining two hours of theatre.