SUNSHINE IN THE GLOOM Review by Shirley Linsell
Forget the cuts and the financial crisis and the winter approaching, the Little Theatre have presented a light, frothy and funny play for our enjoyment.
The story is about a couple whose 15year old marriage has lost some of the passion it used to have. They are going out to dinner and fail to tell each other that she has promised the flat to her friend whose husband is never home and he has promised the flat to the neglectful husband. They are meeting their lovers.
Into this mix put a camp interior decorator and the au-pair, the prospective lovers and a lady who writes books about doggie woggies.
This very funny play is of course by Ray Cooney and John Chapman who are renowned for their bedroom farces.
Playing the couple are the always delightful Lindsey Hodge and the ever reliable Alan Lade. They are so good.
The trying to be unfaithful couple are two newcomers to the Little Theatre, Gini Comyns and Michael Bale. These two are very welcome additions to the company. He reminds me of the actor from “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum”, Michael Knowles.
Garry Fowler is brilliant as the not so camp interior designer and has, in newcomer Mandy Crnkovic, a perfect foil as the au-pair. Samantha Chapman heralds her first appearance at the Little Theatre by taking all her clothes off! All very carefully done of course. The would be paramour is played with great enjoyment by Alan Clifford who I last remember as a dead body.
Stella Dench is the “Doggie Lady” and of course is wonderful. Only Stella can say Norfolk in a Lady Bracknell way.
The set is clever and the sound effects and lighting oh, so good.
This is a Master Class in comedy timing and acting and Sylvia Aston is to be congratulated in her directing.
It would have been so unfair to have picked any one out of such an ensemble piece, so the Bafta goes to the entire company.
EVENING ARGUS Review by Tony Flood
Seaford Little Theatre achieves a triple triumph with a great comedy, cast and director in Move Over Mrs Markham.
This Ray Cooney and John Chapman farce is ideal for amateur dramatic societies as the action all takes place in the flat of Joanna and Philip Markham, well played by Lindsey Holledge and Alan Lade.
A tangle of misunderstandings begins when Joanna is asked by her friend Linda (the superb Gini Comyns) if she can use the flat to romp with her lover Walter (Alan Clifford) while the Markhams are out. But Linda’s philandering husband Henry (Michael Bale) persuades Philip to let him bring round a new girlfriend (Samantha Chapman).
To add to the chaos, the Markhams’ randy interior decorator Alistair (a hilarious Garry Fowler) plans to consummate his relationship with the maid (Mandy Crnkovic).
It briefly goes off the boil, but there follows a comical confrontation as Philip mistakenly thinks Alistair is admitting to having an affair with his wife.
Director Sylvia Aston’s fast pace and the credibility injected by a talented cast, which is completed by delightful Stella Dench as an eccentric children’s writer, prevent a lightweight plot becoming too silly.
SEAFORD SCENE Review by Cath Senker
The action of this 1970's farce by Ray Cooney and John Chapman, directed by Sylvia Aston, takes place in the London flat of Joanna and Philip Markham (Lindsey Holledge and Alan Lade). Joanna’s friend Linda Lodge (Gini Comyns) persuades Joanna to let her have the flat for the evening to hold a secret tryst with her lover Walter (Alan Clifford). Meanwhile, Linda’s husband Henry (Michael Bale), who is Philip’s business partner in their children’s publishing business, is twisting Philip’s arm to allow him to use the flat to meet his new girlfniend Miss Wilkinson (Samantha Chapman). Thrown into the mix are the Markhams’ interior designer (Garry Fowler) and his au pair lover (Mandy Crnkovic), also hoping for a romantic evening in.
Amid the extraordinary comings and goings and dressings and undressings in the Marchams’ flat that evening, acclaimed author Olive Harriet Smythe (Stella Dench), arrives unexpectedly hoping to clinch a deal for the sequel to her bestselling Bow-Wow books.
Full of gags, double entendres and hilarious facial expressions, this play kept the audience laughng al the way through. Particularly funny was Alan Lade’s John Cleese like performance pretending to be the butler The set and the sound effects were great too. Well done Seaford Little Theatre!