Funny Money - Review
NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association)Review by Hazel Hole
Funny Money, by Ray Cooney
Directors Graham Green and Margaret Coleman
Performed at Dovercourt Theatre Studio on Friday 15th November 2019.
I was warmly welcomed by Linda Potter and Margaret Coleman at Front of House. This was a classic Ray Cooney hilarious farce, relying on mistaken identities, lots of energy and action on stage and double-entendres and there was no shortage of these in this fast moving production.
Henry Perkins, played by Jordan Brown, was a middle-aged accountant who picked up the wrong briefcase from the train and discovered it contained £735,000 in used £50 notes. He decided to flee to Barcelona with his wife to start a new life with the spoils. Jordan played this role with great skill and understanding, creating mayhem in the process of covering up what had happened. His hard pressed wife, Jean, played by Gemma Holman-Quinn, refused to leave their home, especially as it was Henry's birthday and their friends were expected for dinner. Gemma was extrovert and unconvinced by Henry and gradually started to drink heavily with hilarious results. Their friends, Vic Johnson (Rob Porter) and Betty Johnson (Katherine Johnson) were soon actively caught in this web of lies, deception and mistaken identities and indeed gained other identities themselves. Rob put in a strong performance in this role, which was different to those roles he has played previously and I especially enjoyed his mannerisms, defeatist attitude and facial expressions. Katherine was flirtatious and suggested wife swapping to enable her to go to Barcelona with Henry when plans changed. Add to this mix Bill, a stroppy taxi driver, played with great enthusiasm by Chris Holman. Richard Kemp-Luck played Detective Sargent Davenport, open to bribery and corruption and most interested in the other men. Richard was excellent in this part bringing in many double-entendres and even more misunderstandings to an already complicated plot. His mannerisms and expressions were priceless. Steve Fisher played Detective Sargent Slater really well, initially as a rather formal, officious detective but eventually becoming embroiled in the mayhem around him when he then stamped his authority on the other characters. Patrick Noons, in the small but important role of Mr Big, acted this part really well as he stumbled around the stage very convincingly after being injured by Bill in his taxi and Slater in the police car.
All the actors played their roles incredibly well, delivering this fast moving story with so much enthusiasm and energy.
Congratulations to the two Directors, Graham Green and Margaret Coleman, both making their debut as Directors. The success of this production owed much to their imagination, skill and enthusiasm and ability to encourage such sparkling performances from the actors.
The set, of necessity was fairly simple but effective, making maximum use of the very small stage area. However, there were two exits, furniture and a staircase to provide movement. Caroline Thomas was Stage Manager achieving seamless changes of props on stage and Maree Noons and Linda Potter were responsible for the costumes, all of which were very appropriate. Greg Potter (lighting and set) and Steve Gregory (sound) contributed to the overall effect.
A fast moving,sparkling production from this talented group. I enjoyed the evening immensely and congratulate everyone involved in any way.
Hazel Hole MBE