It Runs in the Family

Date 17th October 2012
Society Clitheroe Parish Church Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society
Venue St Marys Centre, Clitheroe
Type of Production Play
Director Alison Bell


Author: Pete Astbury

I always enjoy the productions staged by this society and was looking forward to attending this one. This play was in the style of the old ‘Doctor’ series of films from the late 50’s early 60’s – you’ll remember them if you’ve been around a while like me, usually starring Dirk Bogarde, Leslie Phillips, Harry Secombe, Robert Morley and other British stalwarts. Similar in style to the Carry On series but with none of the, shall we call it, unattractive humour!

I have to say that this performance, despite it being opening night was exceptional. The audience (almost a full house) were belly laughing the whole way through. This, I know from experience, is difficult to achieve and all credit goes to the cast who achieved this.

The set for this production was well thought through and made the most of the humour in the script, particularly the scenes set on the window ledge. Lighting was appropriate and the sound quality was excellent.

Brian Haworth did a fine job as Doctor Mortimore, the unfortunate protagonist of this play when a former nurse turns up at the hospital with news of their 18 year old son. His two companions Doctor Connolly very well played by Richard Hubbard, and Doctor Bonney, brilliantly delivered by Damian Marsh, try to aid him in his attempts to hide the existence of his son from his wife Rosemary, played most ably by Lesley Haworth. Of course, things don’t exactly go Mortimore’s way and all hell breaks loose. Wendy Watson was believable as Nurse Tate and Leo Burke was a revelation as Leslie the son in question.

Supporting the main players were Helen Guiver as the matron (images of Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams may spring to mind here!) and Annie Wildman playing the ward sister, both brought some additional colour and humour to the performance. Also in supporting roles were Roger Boardman as the insufferable Chairman, Catherine Whitham as Dr Bonney’s long suffering mother and Trevor Lord as the often thwarted police sergeant; again all were believable and well delivered performances.

One of my favourite characterisations was Tom Garner as Bill Leslie, a patient at the hospital, who’s brilliantly delivered one liners had the audience in uproar!

With such a strong cast, there was no doubt as to the success of this production, the performance was extremely professional and very well presented, a pleasure to watch. Well done to director Alison Bell on delivering such a genuinely funny production.