Cash on Delivery

Date 27th May 2016
Society Inkberrow Players
Venue Inkberrow Village Hall
Type of Production Drama
Director David Goode

Report

Author: Ian G Cox

British farce has been seen, heard and enjoyed for generations and to be successful often is complex and sometimes demands an absurd plot. Outstanding writing is needed of course and it is no surprise that this play was written by Michael Cooney the son of Ray Cooney an English playwright and actor best known for ‘Run for your Wife which ran for nine years in London’s West End

Some may find this one a little uncomfortable with a plot that is based upon an individual playing the benefits system by inventing a fictional family, with various issues themselves that warrant further handouts. For all that is a very funny script that takes the audience into all sorts of comic territory.

The script if full of double entendres, elements of bawdy physical humour – Carry On Films  style ,layers of confusion, talking at cross purposes, and mistaken identities. Add to that cross dressing, ‘dead bodies’ alcohol and a touch of slapstick with a problematic washing machine and a story of benefit fraud. But it works.

There are a mass of cue lines and interjections with which the cast coped admirably. Eric Swan the central fraudster played by Ian James is ripping off the Welfare system, using a fictional family, and false ailments to maximize his welfare cheques and Norman Bassett (Gary Clubley) his upstairs lodger were convincing in the portrayals as events in this farce unfolded. As the DSS Inspector ‘Mr Jenkins’ Malcolm McGillivray gave an accomplished performance particularly when spotting the lies being told to him. A deaf piano tuner was difficult to believe and his drunken scene was excellent. Steve Price played ‘Uncle George’ with precision timing and physical sustainability and great stage comedy.

Barbara Clubley was every bit the long suffering wife ‘Linda Swan’ and in the role of bereavement counsellor ‘Sally Chessington’ Sue Blundell gave a strong performance. The very scary Chief DSS Inspector ‘Ms Cowper’, formidable in manner and stature was admirably performed by Lyn Welland. Completing the line-up were Tim Tyrell in the role of undertaker Mr Forbright, Karl Stallard as Doctor Chapman and Alison James as Norman’s Fiancée Brenda Dixon.

This is a funny satirical play about welfare the spurious ways and methods benefits can be accessed. For all that it is good stage comedy and the audience went away having enjoyed their evening

Well Done Inkberrow Players and thank you for the opportunity to be with you

Ian G Cox

Regional Representative - Worcestershire East (District 12)

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