First Things First

Nobody’s Perfect

Murder In A Play

Genre: Murder Mystery/comedy 

Author: Simon Brett

Produced by: Samuel French

Performed by: Buxted Players 23rd-26th November 2016

Boris Smolensky’s budget repertory production of Murder at Priorswell Manor is looking decidedly shaky, being mostly held together by long-suffering stage manager Pat.  The cast, and the director, are more interested in their egos than in the play, and life imitates art when Boris’s wife, Renee, is murdered on stage.  So whodunnit?  Could it be dimwit Ginette, Boris’s current mistress?  Or Ginette’s ex-boyfriend Tim?  Or professional jealousy from Christa or Sophie?  And is Boris completely guiltless?  This play within a play provides bewildering clues, hilarious gaffes from the inept actors and red herrings galore to keep the audience guessing right till the end.  Simon Brett is well known for his radio plays, his Charles Paris series of theatrical thriller novels, and his crime series of Fethering mystery novels, so to have a stage play by him is a treat.

Not Now Darling

Genre: Farce

Author: Cooney, Ray & Chapman, John

Produced by: Josef Weinberger

The tremendously successful West End hit set in the elegant fur salon of Bodley, Bodley & Crouch. Gilbert Bodley, a flamboyant extrovert, is scheming to seduce a beautiful stripper, Janie, with the aid of a £5,000 mink. Unfortunately, she is married and her husband, Harry, would notice such an acquisition. So Gilbert reduces the mink to £500 and Janie tries to get Harry to buy the coat for her, Gilbert paying the difference. Harry realizes a bargain when he sees one and buys it instead for his own curvaceous little secretary, Sue.

   Gilbert is quite demented by this turn of events and both he and his dithering assistant, Arnold Crouch, are further embarrassed when Janie strips and refuses to leave the salon without the mink. Their frenzied attempts to retrieve the coat from Sue and hide the naked Janie are further complicated by the unexpected arrival of Gilbert’s wife, Maud. Meanwhile, Arnold’s method of hiding any discarded ladies’ underwear is to throw them out of the window and it is left to Miss Tipdale, the firm’s spinster secretary, to retrieve the garments and the situation whenever necessary. The hilarious permutations reach a point of hysteria before everyone gets their just desserts.

N.B No real fur coats were used in this production.

Confusions (selected)

Sherlock Holmes

Ten Times Table

Blackadder Goes Forth

Kindly Leave The Stage

The Unexpected Guest

Dick Whittington

Fawlty Towers

House Guest

It Runs In The Family

Babes In The Wood

You’re Only Young Twice

See How They Run

Fawlty Towers