Kindly Keep It Covered

Date 14th July 2016
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavilion South Shields
Type of Production Play
Director Gareth Hunter


Author: Peter Oliver

A mannequin, a stuffed camel and a man driven to distraction as he constantly searched for food are not the usual ingredients for a comedy farce but for the Westovians Theatre Society cast of “Kindly Keep it Covered” these were the perfect ingredients for this polished performance that brought nonstop laughter and top quality entertainment.
Written by Dave Freeman and Directed by Gareth Hunter with Iain Cunningham as his assistant they certainly did a great job which was appreciated by the audience. A great set which was effectively used keeping the action flowing.

In this fast moving farce which is set in a health farm owned by Richard and Julia Dickerby purchased from money collected from an insurance claim following the death of Julia’s late husband, Sidney. This set the scene for an incredible series of events especially when Sidney returns from the dead. A sterling and solid performance from Craig Richardson who played Roland Dickerby the proprietor of the health spa he portrays a man living on the edge, harassed by his mother in law, trying to keep the guests upbeat and keeping the love of his life happy as well as hiding the fact that her deceased husband has returned from the dead to retrieve a hidden safe deposit key. An excellent performance by Craig who throws everything into his performance - he worked well with the rest of the cast and looked comfortable on stage. Any farce depends on team work and Ashley Mitchell who played Julia Dickerby the wife of Roland portrayed her character well with excellent stage presence and showing a good rapport with Craig and her domineering mother Olivia played by Danielle Miller. Danielle delivered a steely performance brimming with confidence and was very funny. Vanessa played by Lauren Waine played the wife of Roland’s ex–boss of insurance company 'Kindly Mutual' -  a fanatic bird lover who arrives for a break at the spa and becomes embroiled into events. Innocent and law abiding, she is quite unable to repeat what she saw under the raincoat and unable to convince anyone what was lurking up the chimney - a good performance form Lauren. Sidney played by Stephen Sullivan gave a great and energetic performance with his impromptu flashing and all the misunderstandings that followed. Using disguises as Dr Louise, (excellent accent) and chef McTavish he created mayhem every time he stepped on stage which was most scenes. This was a superb performance by this actor.
I loved Ron Markwich's character as the food mad Mr Hooper who’s strict diet deprives him of food causing him to be driven to distraction, only when he discovers a tin of biscuits in a cupboard and a basket full of sandwiches and beer is he content - great stage presence which was well delivered. Miriam Beber played the cameo role of WPC Campbell who was drawn into events whilst establishing who stole the bands sandwiches giving a good performance in the process.
This farce was well cast with each actor working hard to individualise their characters it had pace and good timing with plenty of laugh out loud moments which on the evening that I attended was appreciated by the audience. A totally very amusing play and top quality entertainment.