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Not Now Darling

Not Now Darling

By Ray Cooney & John Chapman

 Set in a West End fur salon where hilarious permutations and entanglements reached a point of hysteria before everyone got their just desserts. The show was reviewed by Vivien Window and here is what she had to say.

Yes, "Not Now Darling" is a dated play set firmly in the 1960s and yes times and tastes have changed. It is set in an upmarket furriers - which isn't likely to endear it to the animal rights lobby, and the Benny Hill style antics of the "scantily-clad cuties" shows it was all written  before political correctness made us cover up anything vaguely like a pair of legs - - - - - but who cares! This play, directed at a cracking pace by Jane Clark, gave the audience what we all wanted, pure entertainment and side-splitting laughs.

The play had a lovely sense of period. It was set in a time when, supposedly, young ladies could be persuaded to do all sorts of naughty things for the promise of a fur coat, a fact not lost on philandering Gilbert Bodley (the energetic Paul Jackson), who has his eye on the glamorous former striptease artiste Janie McMichael (Nicky Daniels), despite being married to the suspicious Maude (Mary Green). Janie is married to mean Harry McMichael (Richard Holyoak), whose secretary/mistress Sue Lawson is just as sexy, - - - and Rebecca Harwood looked just as good as Nicky Daniels, running around the stage half naked, (after Gilbert's partner, Arnold Crouch, threw their clothes out the window in panic)

Arnold Crouch is trapped in the middle of all this marital intrigue and Dickie Wood gave a stupendous performance, struggling to keep things on an even keel. Every time he opened his mouth the audience roared with laughter and we were very relieved that he finally succumbed to the shy and decent secretary (Amanda Polton). After watching all the mayhem in these marriages, they promise each other fidelity for life! The upstanding Commander and his hard-bitten wife, (nicely played by Richard Sweeting and Jane Payne,) go off hand in hand, and sexy Sue Lawson gets a proper marriage proposal from her rough diamond partner (Andrew Spencer). So all ends happily! Sort of!

Well done, Wycliffe Drama Group, for pulling off this difficult Ray Cooney and John Chapman farce! I'm reminded of the definition of farce-"Fast Audience Reaction, Cast Exhausted". I felt pretty exhausted myself after so much laughter!

Vivien Window

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