Laughter and tears

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Mar 2014 Laughter and tears

SEE HOW THEY RUN

 

CHURCHILL THEATRE, BROMLEY

 

FEBRUARY 20

 

When Warwick Davies decided to form The Reduced Height Theatre Company,  he must have thought long and hard about which play would be best for them.

 

He decided on ‘See How They Run’, a classic wartime farce from 1945 and, judging by the performance of the nine-member cast and the audience reaction at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley, on the national tour’s opening night, he made the right decision.

 

Full of all the necessary ingredients, an indecisive vicar, his ex-actress wife, unexpected arrival of the Bishop, played excellently by John Key, so reminiscent of Robertson Hare, village busybody, an escaped German POW, plenty of mistaken identity, and expertly-timed door sequences, plus the dotty maid Ida. She is the most intelligent person onstage, portrayed wonderfully by Francesca Mills, who won the whole audience over the moment she appeared.

 

Sticking 100% to the original script, with absolutely no need for cheap ‘size’ jokes, the only adjustment made for this production was to scale down the set to suit the cast’s average size of 4ft 2ins.

 

I had previous seen ‘See How They Run’ about 20 years ago, and I laughed and laughed, this time not only did I laugh but I cried with laughter: not to be missed.

 

After a number of curtain calls, Warwick made a short (sorry) speech thanking those who helped him achieve, which included one moment of ‘you had to be there’ genius.

 

The play tours until May 10, and then it must surely have a season in the West End where everybody can see it run and run and run!

 

Full tour details: www.reducedheighttheatre.co.uk

 

Jim Stewart 2014

 

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