Are You Being Served?
Paul Johnson | 22 May 2012 02:28am
ARE YOU BEING SERVED
When I realised that The Wesley Players were staging ‘Are You Being Served’ I checked the dates in my diary. I’m free!
I think it is quite brave of any society to stage a play based on a long-running sit com. Because of such well-established actors like Mollie Slocombe and John Inman in the roles on tv the audience have certain expectations. However, The Wesley Players had nothing to worry about – they did a great job. I particularly enjoyed Vicky Stowe’s performance as Mrs Slocombe. From the moment she alighted from the lift on to the shop floor holding onto her unseen pussy in its basket her facial expressions were a joy to watch, and her comic timing was spot on. The actor John Inman will always be remembered as Mr Humphries in the tv programme, and for the catchphrase ‘I’m Free’, however Colin Richardson gave a very creditable performance in the role. He resisted the urge to emulate John Inman and made the part his own. His didn’t mince too much and stayed very much in character throughout – I sneaked a peak at him when he sat in his tent and continued to buff his nails whilst Mrs Slocombe and Mr Peacock played out a scene on the opposite side of the stage.
Captain Peacock, played by Jim Sawyer looked and sounded the part, conveying an equal amount of superiority and pompousness in the Grace Brothers store during Act One, then we saw a more playful side in Act Two in the Spanish hotel as he got ready for a late night assignation with Miss Brahms. David Kinder was perfect as cheeky chappie Mr Lucas, another piece of good comic timing. Helen Turner impressed as Miss Brahms. Mark Spagnol’s performance as Mr Mash in Act One was good and he played the part well as, unshackled by the social pecking order he set about his work with a cheery demeanour. The audience certainly enjoyed him cleaning the female mannequin. There were some fine performances from the rest of the cast, Jayne Jones as the female customer coped brilliantly as Mr Humphries tried to measure her. This was very funny, her facial expressions capturing a myriad of meaning. Terry Mustoo looked the part as Mr Grainger – especially in his lederhosen. Alex Muckersie played Mr Rumbold and although a good performance it would have been better had he conveyed more authority in the role. Cesar, the Spanish revolutionary was played by Jonathan Holland. Justin Addison-Smith doubled up as the male shop customer in Act One and Barnardo the Spanish hotel manager in Act two. A very sexy Conchita was played by Jenny Lee. Louise Richardson played the nurse and David Cordell completed the cast list as Mr Grace. Directors Peter Mason and Michelle Gouldie can be very proud of this well cast production. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the show and there were some lovely set pieces, in particular the wind-up gnashing teeth in the boxer shorts sketch set to music. This was very well executed. The set design and construction was good, and the lift a great focal point in Act one. The toilet cubicle that replaced it in Act Two was used to great effect. Jack Hurley ensured everyone was well lit and Courtney Moita De Deus did the special effects. The props team did a great job as there were quite a few props. The comic precision of the gnashing teeth must have taken some rehearsing to perfect the timing.
- : admin
- : 19/05/2012