Don’t Dress for Dinner

Date 22nd March 2013
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavilion, South Shields
Director Carrie Wilson


Author: Gwyneth Hunter

In a farce, lots of entrances and exits always help to lighten the humour. So the five doors and a staircase certainly set the scene in this excellent set, with authentic props. Add to this the slapstick element of soaking someone with soda, drinks and pasta sauce and the farce ingredients are all there.

Paul Dunn was excellent as Robert, giving his lines a rapid delivery which added great pace and humour. Mary Stephenson was really funny as Susan, with her great facial expressions and confused character. The audience loved her, particularly when she proved she was not as dumb as she first appeared. Beryl Henderson, the society’s Secretary said, “We are very grateful to Gareth Hunter for stepping in at short notice to take on the substantial part of Bernard and performing it in his inimitable style. His delivery was seamless and he didn’t even seem to mind the large amount of washing at the end of each performance.” Joyce Baker as the sophisticated Jacqueline, (Bernard’s wife and Robert’s mistress) set the intrigue going, until about three quarters of the way through the play. By this point no one knew who was who or with whom. The intrigue continued with Val Dawson as Suzanne, the over indulged mistress of Bernard. She had arrived for a cosy weekend and ended up getting very exasperated when she had to cook and pretend to be a hired help. I began to wonder she would go for first. Finally as if everything wasn’t chaotic enough, the arrival of Bill Marsden as Susan’s gullible husband George created even more mayhem.

Well done everyone. The audience loved it as I could tell by the laughter and rousing applause at the end.