The Real Inspector Hound & Black Comedy

Date 3rd November 2016
Society Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society
Venue Richmond Georgian Theatre Royal
Type of Production Play
Director Jim Brown


Author: Peter Parlour

RADS and their director Jim Brown produced two one-act plays with the same cast, with very different characterizations for each actor in the two plays. They performed it very well indeed, confirming the talent on stage with excellent performances in each play.

The Real Inspector Hound

The play is about two theatre critics becoming involved in the appallingly bad play which they are reviewing, the outcome being both tragic and hilarious. Mike Walker who played 'Moon' and Dan Cockett who played 'Birdboot', acted very well indeed. 'Mrs Drudge' the housekeeper was superbly played by Suzy Brown, 'Simon Gascoyne'  the suspected killer on the run, was well played by Scott Fenney. His supposed girlfriend was 'Felicity Cunningham' well played by a very lively Tilly Greer. Felicity's friend and rival was played by Ann Greer as 'Cynthia Muldoon', a very strong character indeed. 'Magnus Muldoon' was played by Martin Ash, in a wheelchair, and one wondered if he was the murderer, however the real Inspector Hound, played with great character by Doug Clayton arrived and tried to sort it all out (without success). Tom Stoppard's twist in the tale finds the two theatre critics involved in the on-stage action, with Moon finding himself accused of the murder. This was very well done with consistent comedy throughout.

Black  Comedy

At the opening of the curtains the set was completely dark - when a power-cut occurred onstage the lights came up for the audience but the players had to act as if they were in complete darkness, and how well they performed. Scott Fenney was excellent playing 'Brindsley  Miller' engaged in moving the furniture he had 'borrowed' to impress his fiancée's father and an expected millionaire art dealer back to its rightful owner completely in the dark. Doug Clayton played the bewildered father 'Colonel Melkett', he was very well portrayed and was excellent.

Brindsley's ex-girlfriend, 'Clea' was very well played by Ann Greer, and his fiancée was well played by Tilly Greer as 'Carol Melkett'. Their neighbour (and owner of the 'borrowed' furniture and objets d'art) was very well played by Mike Walker as 'Harold Gorringe' who was highly camp with a short fuse. Moving around the stage in the darkness caused great amusement and was excellently done. Another neighbour was 'Miss Furnival', a teetotal spinster, very well and quietly played by Suzy Brown, discovering both the joys and the effects of alcohol during the course of the play.

All of this was caused by a major fuse blowing and Dan Cockett, who played the German 'Schuppanzigh', an Electricity Board employee mistaken for the millionaire art dealer, arrived to restore the lighting. When he did the whole household wondered where the furniture had gone. The last character to arrive, played by Martin Ash was 'Georg Bamberger', the art dealer who came to the flat with the intention of buying some of Brindsley's sculptures. The play was really well done and the idea of using the same cast was excellent. It was initially difficult to judge just what was happening, as each time a torch , match or lighter was lit onstage the overall lighting dimmed (the opposite to what would happen in real life!), and when the light source was extinguished the cast were again plunged into 'darkness'. With so much happening the cast did a great job in remembering their lines. Yes, Jim, your idea was a success, and an excellent night's entertainment.