There Goes the Bride

Date 12th July 2018
Society Inkberrow Players
Venue Inkberrow Village Hall
Type of Production Farce
Director Melanie Hart

Report

Author: Andy Brown

Having previously both taken part in as well as seeing farces written by Ray Cooney and John Chapman I looked forward to watching ‘There Goes the Bride’ performed by Inkberrow Players. I was not to be disappointed in the quality of the writing and the overall performance.

First produced in 1974 this play contains all the usual elements of farce such as mixed identities, confused characters, different exits and entrances plus, in this case, a character only visible to one other.

The play opens with the mother of the bride Ursula Westerby played by Mo McCarthy repairing her daughter’s wedding dress while grandad searched for socks and grandma was battling with her corset.  Mo played the part of the long-suffering wife well getting more and more exasperated.

The father of the bride meanwhile seemed to be more interested in his business dealings, whilst the in laws, who have flown in from Australia, have no hotel booked and the flowers for the wedding were forgotten. All is not going well!! Then the father of the bride receives a bang on his head and from then onwards he sees a 1920’s flapper.

Tim Cole as Timothy Westerby (father of the bride) demonstrated a strong and energetic performance throughout playing different characters following the bangs to the head he received. There were many amusing moments, much to the enjoyment of the audience, such as when he was signalling to Polly Perkins, the 1920’s flapper, played by Barbara Clubley and when he was auditioning his dance routines believing he was Fred Astaire with Polly as Ginger Rogers! 

Barbara as Polly gave a competent and believable performance. Unbeknown to the audience at the start of the play she must have spent the first 25 minutes of the play hidden behind the sofa! Well done on playing this role!

Husband and wife David and Margaret Ballard were delightful together as Dr Gerald and Daphne Drimmond. There were some delightful pieces involving David as the forgetful doctor who not only spent time in search of socks but got completely lost in what was happening at times as well as having to portray a porter to go along with Timothy. I particularly liked him when mimicking the action of his son in law and his comic timing throughout. Margaret meanwhile was ideal as the snobby grandmother.

Bill Shorter – business partner of Timothy Westerby was played by Gary Clubley. The part was well played and demonstrated the right amount of confusion and frustration as the character becomes more engrossed in the action. The pair worked well together and made the most of the lines, including the gag about him being ‘shorter.’

Judy Westerby played by Sarah Young gave a credible performance as the bride who continually found herself getting upset by the events unfolding in front of us. 

Finally, congratulations to Malcolm McGillivray as Charles Babcock who gave a pleasing performance as the Australian father of the groom who could not quite believe the goings on when he finally arrived at the home of his future daughter-in -law. He appeared genuinely shocked when a drink was tipped over him!

The set was of a good quality and functional. Props and furniture on the set were also a good quality with the exception maybe of the champagne which looked too much like clear water.

There were some technical issues on opening night such as a delayed telephone ring and a few dropped lines. There was great amusement in the audience when the prompt needed to take the cast back 3 ½ pages. This following one of the actors going to the prompt corner to sort out what had gone wrong. This resulted in us hearing some lines and seeing some action for a second time. This somehow made these lines even funnier than the first time and seemed to bring the audience even more on side.

Costumes were suitable to the characters especially the flapper costume worn by Polly Perkins.

There were a few times when cast members were not ideally placed on the stage. This was not however I believe be due to direction just a case of people finding themselves in the wrong place.

The cast were however, good at not looking at Polly Perkins and throughout gave a believable performance of not able to see her – so well done on achieving this!

Yes, some opening night issues however, like me, the whole audience seemed to really enjoy the evening. In addition, the cast remained composed when things went wrong and continued their determination to bring about a good result.

Thank you for your welcome and kind hospitality. I look forward to seeing you again in the foreseeable future at your next production.