Skip to main content

Review of Not Now Darling by Moulton Players at Moulton Theatre, Northampton

It is safe to say that the performance of Not Now Darling by Moulton Players didn't go quite as smoothly as we or no doubt they hoped, however despite everything, it still resulted in a highly entertaining evening.

Released in 1967, Not Now Darling is a full out farce from Ray Cooney and John Chapman and does everything expected of it. Bawdy, sexist and more than a little chaotic, it really is an impressively funny play, albeit a rather silly premise. However that is farce for you.

For the best part this production currently on at Moulton Theatre delivers the goods. However for a farce to gel perfectly it has to be delivered with style and a tremendous pace, and unfortunately for this third night performance, a large number of prompts were required. This unfortunately distilled it a little, losing a few of those perfectly timed jokes into the bargain. Having said this, the mishaps offered moments of brilliance of their own, Ken Francis as Arnold Crouch successfully spun a prompt into a reminder from his secretary, much to the amusement of cast and audience. As was a late telephone ring smoothly handled by Robert Valentine as Harry McMichael. It is hard to tell where the blame lies, however because there was no single offender on the lines, my belief is perhaps it being a little unrehearsed. There certainly seemed to be a few places where scenes were stumbling quite a lot, even those without prompts.

Having said all this negative comment, it was as I said entertaining. There was some great characterisation going on. Particularly from the leads Ken Francis and Lee Winston (Gilbert Bodley). Winston confident as the womanising character and Francis as the put upon partner, they made a great double act and often saved many of the scenes from total collapse. Sure we want a bit of free flowing madness in a farce, but at times, this was pushing it a tad. Also without question having great fun as Janie McMichael was Ellen Hobday, all fur coat and, well this is a farce, you get the picture. One other from the cast for special mention, is Jill White's bombastic Mrs Frencham, often portraying the bold as brass character that at times, you wished some of the other performers would create.

So yes, this was the least smooth amateur show I have seen, but if this is the worst, it perhaps doesn't matter. I and the audience had a great time with this entertaining production which did include some nice performances. However simply put, this could have been quite a lot better and if it had, it would have been a heck of a brilliant show as the foundations that were on display promised much. Fun and disappointing in equal measure.

Performance reviewed: Wednesday 12th October, 2016 at the Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Not Now Darling runs at the Moulton Theatre, Northampton until Saturday 15th October, 2016.

For full details of the Moulton Theatre visit their website at http://moultontheatre.com/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of The Blue Road by R&D Young Company at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

I have a 100% strike record with the wonderful Youth Theatre group at Royal & Derngate, they have never let me down with a show and sometimes with those of Sweeney Todd and Kontact, have provided me with some of the very optimum theatre points of each year. The Blue Road, their very latest production for me is slightly less successful.

However, it thankfully and perhaps not surprisingly, is nothing to do with the constantly talented bunch of actors that gather in this group. My problem lies in two places, of play selection and the way it is told. The Blue Road chronicles the story of a group of young people on the backend of a not totally described crisis, and this, unfortunately, is where we were more or less just two years ago with the Young Company and their show Immune. I have always been interested in these post apocalyptic stories and often love them, however for the same group to do two so close together feels a shame. They challenge certainly, but I am sure there are many…

Review of Once Upon A Grimm Tale by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company (Early) at Judge's Lodgings, Northampton

Once upon a time, there was a brave theatrical reviewer. He lived in a market town in deepest darkest Englaland, where many great and remarkable things of stage did occur. At the centre of this wondrous world of performing spectacles was a place referred to by many as the Royal Derngatus, a place of people pretending to be other people and telling tales of mystery, intrigue and frolics.

Within the fortressed walls of Royal Derngatus, there were a group of fearless players who entertained local folk for no reward, other than the thrill of seeing the joy in the faces of others. Those group of artists went by the name of Actors Companus, which many pronounced carefully when they did say it out loud. This group of merry men and women did have two forms, an early and a late, and but two days before this adventurous evening of forthcoming storytelling, the late group did perform for a third and final time a most amazing feat of theatre, going by the name of Great Expectations.


Our hero of thi…

Review of Great Expectations by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Market Boy from The Actors Company last year was a remarkable show and is likely to stay with me for a long time, so following it with this year's production was always going to be a tough call and with their production of the epic Dickens classic Great Expectations, they at least didn't lack ambition.

I have to be honest, things for me didn't start well. The first few minutes of this adaptation by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod is a busy and convoluted sequence moving the opening part of the story in an unclear and often irritating way. For those present not aware of the original story, I wouldn't envy them trying to keep up with what is going on. However much of the trouble of this opening sequence is quickly corrected as scenes become more defined and controlled and the story is allowed to develop at a slower pace.

Perhaps also in the early part, it doesn't help either that the gender-swapped Magwitch played by Salli Bersham is a little too full on with the o…