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Kindly Keep It Covered

Date

15th November 2017

Society

Canterbury Players

Venue

Daveyhulme Methodist Church Hall

Type of Production

Farce

Director

Ann Robinson

Report

Author: Kevin Proctor

A fast and frantic farce with many twists and turns, the completely bonkers ‘Kindly Keep It Covered’ written by Dave Freeman and directed by Ann Robinson is Canterbury Players recent presentation.

The play features a not so typical tale of cover­ups, camels in saunas and missing kebabs with hapless husband, Roland, desperately trying to avoid trouble with the law, managing a Health Farm with his wife ‘keeping himself and hungry customers away from the biscuits’ being his chief duty.  Holding on to his marriage becomes more difficult when surprise guest Dr Louis arrives – or is that McTavish the Chef? – or the new head waiter?

Chuck in an overbearing and interfering mother in law, a lisping wife of an insurance fraud investigator and a persistently puzzled police sergeant and you’ve got the perfect recipe for disaster!

Colin Baker is a riot as Roland Dickerby. His abundant energy and put-upon reactions are well judged. I sensed that Colin has been inspired by the great John Cleese given the manner and accentuations which seemed to radiate throughout his portrayal.

Debbie Dickerson’s Julia Dickerby provides a delightful balance between her hopeless husband and militant mother while still offering an extremely naturalistic, engaging and likeable character. A truly enjoyable act from Debbie.

As Sidney, Arthur Hulse passes himself off as a variety of different people in order to conceal his identity. Arthur brought good reactions and expressions to his performance which was supported by a booming voice, a little more attention to articulation would be worthwhile as clarity often obstructed his delivery.

Getting pulled into the perplexing events is Lindsey Andrews as Sergeant Campbell whose authoritative veneer slipped too easily. We would have experienced an extra layer to the humour if Campbell remained unyielding for as long as possible, bubbling away until the tomfoolery broke her. The inaccurate uniform also struck as a tad odd which didn’t really resemble the attire of a police sergeant. When this character made her first appearance, her ‘uniform’ posed the question, “when is this piece actually set?” and judging by the uniform, something that would potentially be a clue to such a question, I was a little unsure. At a guess, based on the occasional reference and lack of modern technology, I’d say we’re possibly in the late 80’s?? Which, if that were the case, exposes more inaccuracies when examining the rest of the production in terms of costume and hair style choices etc. It’s quite remarkable how one element of detail can have such a consequence.  

Canterbury Players regular, Caroline Mears, put in a supporting turn as the eccentric, albeit ridiculously gullible, bird loving wife of an insurance fraud investigator offering several chuckles and made a conscious effort to present a character unlike any we’ve seen from her before which was pleasing and rather refreshing to observe.

Mags Johnston put in a significant act as the no nonsense, pesky mother-in-law, Olivia. Always a pleasure to watch this actress at work and this performance was no exception bringing a well gauged driving force to the role.

And finally, Colin Ludden as Hooper had a blast of a time rummaging through the cupboard looking for biscuits, it’s a tough life!

Commendation must be given to the scenic team too who delivered an attractive set which incorporated all the fuss that this play requires it to do.

The cast, as a whole, brought the desired level of playfulness that this play requires and for an opening night viewing it was clear that they’d all been well rehearsed as the performance bounced along at a steady pace and without a noticeable glitch too.