|Producer: Rupert Bowden||
Tom ~ Mark England
Tom and his wife are adopting a baby. It’s the happiest day of their lives – or it would have been if Tom’s brothers, Dick and Harry, hadn’t decided to help. The result of Dick and Harry’s ‘assistance’ produces two illegal immigrants, a dead body and a van load of contraband cigarettes.
With the arrival of the Supervisor from the Adoption Agency and the local Police Constable, Tom’s ingenuity is stretched to the limit. But things couldn’t get worse, could they? Oh, yes they could !
The ever-helpful plans of Dick and Harry continue to go haywire and, in addition to the immigrants, the cigarettes and the dead body, they further lumber Tom with a Russian Mafia Mobster and a reality TV programme. And then it starts to get complicated !!
I confess to feeling somewhat anxious as I took my seat – the ‘vibes’ from Katerina had not been wholly favourable for a month or so leading up to the show. Either Katerina had been bluffing, or the cast pulled off the most spectacular ‘final polishing’ in the history of CATS; this show was nothing short of a triumph!
Mark England carried the show with amazing memory, energy and comic timing. I detected no ventures ‘off-piste’, although later, while in drink, he confessed to one or two.
I have tried hard to think of a comparable performance by a leading man in such a demanding role - but failed; he deserves to be ‘nominated’ for something – but I’m not sure what is available.
Debbie Hill, as his wife, demanded our sympathy and amusement in equal measure. She has now given two really good performances in CATS productions in successive shows.
Tony Newbould and Matthew Tunnicliffe fed off Mark – in truth they gorged themselves, but without going ‘over the top’. As an ensemble of three brothers, albeit with wholly different characters, they gelled together magnificently – but they would have been a nightmare to live with!
As the unwanted guests Rupert Boden and Beth Richards were brilliant in pitching their performances to great comic effect but without seeking to dominate the story or outshine the principal characters.
The supporting cast of Jim Preston, Lynne Tunnicliffe and Dave Millward were all memorable and convincing.
Yet again, the set looked amazing.
How Bob Wilson does it year after year is quite fantastic.
I enjoyed the whole evening immensely; I am struggling to think of a better show! Many thanks to all involved.
Anyone who was fortunate enough to see C.A.T.S latest production of Ray Cooney's farce Tom Dick and Harry had a real treat.
It is hard to believe that the cast were amateurs and Mark England, who was on stage for 95 % of the play, excelled.
How he managed to learn such a demanding part was almost unbelievable.
He was backed up with splendid performances from all the cast.
A very happy and enjoyable evening.
What to do for an encore gets more difficult every year!
East European mafia, illegal immigrants, house price manipulation, dead bodies and petty criminals all came to Chaddesley Corbett two weeks ago.
The stand out performance was Mark England, on stage for virtually the whole play, who very convincingly played the hapless husband continually tossed around by crises induced by his two brothers. As his wife Debbie Hill delivered the straight lines and set up the scenes in just the right way. Mathew Tunnicliffe played the mentally challenged hospital porter who introduced a body into the turmoil and Tony Newbould brought his considerable stature and acting talents to the role of the other brother, a cigarette smuggler with a sideline in transporting illegal aliens. The said illegal aliens were played by Beth Richards and Rupert Boden whose acting talents in Serbo-Croatian have hitherto been hidden to regular audience members. They all performed their quick-fire dialogue and entry and exits to professional levels of timing and delivery, aided by Tilly England for the special effects.
Supporting roles were played by Jim Preston, as the policeman, looking every inch the part of a Dixon of Dock Green and Lynne Tunnicliffe as the social worker bemused by everything going on around her, so true to real life. Dave Millward left us in no doubt of the menace of a mafia thug and despite many well qualified contenders the role of the dead body went to a plastic bag. All ended well when the need for an adoption was trumped by the wife’s pregnancy. Sadly, given the husband’s inability to do anything right we will never learn the identity of the father. This farce was very funny and was enjoyed by all the audiences.
It continues the tradition CATS have
established for delivering very professional productions. Congratulations
to all involved, but not least to the people behind the scenes who do so
much to make it happen.
A new Ray
and Michael Cooney farce (to me) and the convoluted plot would needs and
Einstein to unravel it coherently.
As a 'taster', Tom and Linda are about to adopt a baby and Tom (Mark England) is waiting for a visit by Mrs. Potter from the adoption agency - but Linda has already gone to the adoption agency .. don't ask !
His brother, Dick, arrives back from Calais - with a van full of contraband cigarettes and brandy - plus two stow-away illegal immigrants from Kosova!
Tom was brilliantly played by Mark.
Much of the time his dialogue was
delivered at the speed of sound but his diction was so good we didn't miss
a word - in spite of the incessant audience laughter.
Linda (Debbie Hill), Dick (Tony Newbold) and Harry (Matt Tunnicliffe) all brought their comedy ability to aid the performance.
Andreas (Rupert Bowden), one of the two illegal immigrants, only has to step on the stage to get roars of laughter from an audience and with his mid-European accent was funnier than ever.
The other immigrant was his 'step-daughter' Katerinna (Beth Richards) who struggled to take care of her grandfather when he was sober but found it impossible when he was drunk.
Boris (Dave Millward) completed the excellent cast.
Rupert Boden also produced the play.
Raymond George Alfred Cooney, OBE (born 30
He has had 17 of his plays performed there - and several played in Chaddesley .. ..
|One for the Pot (1966)
Move Over Mrs. Markham (1969)
Not Now, Darling (1973)
Two into One (1981)
Wife Begins at Forty (1985))
Funny Money (1994)
Time's Up (2005)
|Stand by Your Bedouin (1966)
Why Not Stay for Breakfast? (1970)
There Goes the Bride (1974)
Her Royal Highness (1981)
It Runs in the Family (1987)
Caught in the Net (2001)
|My Giddy Aunt (1967)
Come Back to My Place (1973)
Fire Angel (1977)
Run for Your Wife (1983)
Out of Order (1991)
Tom, Dick and Harry (2003)
Date of Play Reading for Autumn Show - Monday,
10th June, 7.30 p.m. in Village Hall.
There will be some singing rehearsals through the summer and main rehearsals start on Monday, 2nd September.
Proposed dates for show run are Thursday, 14th to 16th and Tuesday, 19th to Saturday, 23rd November with matinees possible on the Saturdays. These dates liable to change.
The Wind in the Willows is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames valley.