11th June 2019
Florians Theatre, Inverness
Type of Production
Author: Douglas J Clark, Regional Rep
It is very appropriate that for the first production in this its 75th Anniversary year the company decided to put on the comedy “Harvey” which was written in 1944. The main theme of the play – what is/ is not normal behaviour – is as relevant today as it was when it was written. On a beautiful and detailed set designed by Jon King, the story of Elwood P Dowd, his family and friends – in particular Harvey the imaginary 6 foot 1 ½ inch white rabbit – unfolded. Trevor Nicol’s production brought out equally the humour and pathos in the piece. Nicholas Nicol was outstanding in his portrayal of the eccentric Elwood P Dowd with expert comic timing and delivery – his performance almost had you believing in his invisible friend! Jenni Lomax as Elwood’s sister Veta Louise Simmons, determined to unburden herself of her embarrassing brother, gave a beautifully comic performance in depicting the characters journey from scheming mother to a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In her machinations she was ably assisted by her daughter Myrtle Mae Simmons – delightfully played by Sasha Devine – determined to get a husband. Her interaction with the unsuitable sanatorium attendant was hilarious. Another strong performance was given by Alan Holling as psychiatrist William R Chumley. His conversion from laid-back consultant – complete with southern drawl – to nervous wreck always looking over his shoulder added greatly to the comedy in the piece. Strong support was given by Darren MacMillan (in his first principal role) as Dr Lyman Sanderson, Aine O’Shea as his love interest Nurse Ruth Kelly, Steven Kelly as sanatorium attendant Marvin Wilson, Trevor Nicol as lawyer Judge Omar Gaffney, Anne Bamborough as Aunt Ethel Chauvenet, Caroline Nicol as Dr Chumley’s wife Betty and Jon King as taxi driver E J Lofgren. Mention too must be made of Louise Munro’s scene stealing maid Miss Johnson and of course the omnipresent (but never seen) Harvey. Congratulations on another excellent production.