RUMOURS (A Farce by Neil Simon)
16th November 2017
Colwyn Abbey Players
Author: Lyn Emmerson
This Neil Simon play was originally set in New York, but the British Version, celebrating the 10th Anniversary party of Charles Brock, and his wife is set in London’s Stockbroker belt. These two characters do not appear on stage in the farce and with the arrival of the first guests, there is no kitchen staff, or no food to be seen anywhere. I do not like to give too much away with regards to the actual play itself, but all the cast involved, excelled in their performances to the delight of the audience.
The first couple to arrive is Ken and his wife Chris played by David and Sharon Huxley, respectively. I must mention Sharon who was getting over a broken wrist, but true to the saying, and her dedication to her craft – The Show Must Go On!! Finding Charles has unfortunately shot himself and injured his earlobe a hysterical Chris, calls his doctor, prompted by an equally hysterical Ken trying to advise her what, and what not to say on the telephone. This was a good opening to the play, which set the pace for the whole piece with the banter between these two characters, not letting up for a moment. Shortly after, the second couple limped on to the set, having being involved in a car crash, Claire and Len portrayed by Andrea Higgins and Landon Sweeney, the latter suffering from whiplash. Geoff Edkins took the role of psychologist Ernest with ease, whilst his eccentric wife Cookie, played by Sue Buckley, was basking in sympathy from other members of the cast, from her frequent back spasms. The final guests to arrive were Glenn an over the top politician, Eifion Blease, and his sarcastic wife Cassie, Helen Garner, who took every opportunity to degrade her husband in public, and desperate to reveal his philanderings to all and sundry, thus thwarting his chances of becoming a Government Official.
Completing the cast was P. C. Conklin, played convincingly by Ben Huxley, who from his first entrance never came out of character, together with his side kick Casey, Lisa Wingate. The main characters in the play were all very experienced performers, thus the play flowed from start to finish. Chris’s decline into drunkenness, Ken’s deafness after accidently knocking over the gun in the bedroom, which set it off. Cookie’s sudden back spasms at opportune moments, Cassie’s genuine horror at her crystal falling down the loo, and not forgetting the fantastic speech from Len towards the end of the play, which gained well-deserved applause from the audience . Script and voice projection was spot on from the whole cast, with no pauses throughout the piece.
I found the set rather minimalistic and could have had a few upmarket additions, having said that, this was an excellent production with each cast member conscious of their task which they carried out in the true spirit of ‘farce’. Brilliant job!!