REVIEW

Look Who's Talking

Pat Hamilton reviews Look Who's Talking

Look Who's Talking
By Derek Benfield
performed by Waterbeach Community Players
directed by Chris Shinn

After some performing on forces radio during his wartime service in the army, Derek Benfield then studied acting at RADA making his professional debut in Brian Rix's company in 1948. For many years he successfully combined the career of character actor and playwright. Many of his plays are light comedies often involving marital misunderstandings and Look Who's Talking certainly falls into this genre.

The curtains opened to a set of the usual high standard we expect from WCP although I would have liked to see some covering on the French window/door upstage right. This is the home of Sheila and Andrew.

It is the Sunday morning after a boozy Friday night. Sheila has had a get together with Jane, an old friend, but ended up at the flat of Jane's acquaintance, Brian. Her solicitor husband Andrew, has had an equally wine-fuelled office party.

Busy with her lunch preparations, Sheila is suddenly surprised by the unexpected arrival of Brian followed soon after by Andrew's secretary, Carole, complete with suitcase, expecting to be taken on a trip to Rome!!! What follows are various attempts by all characters to conceal the truth and offer plausible explanations getting increasingly entangled in a plethora of lies and misunderstandings.

Wendy Croft's delightful portrayal of Sheila, confused but perhaps rather pleased that something romantic may have happened, and then horrified when Brian confirmed that it actually had, was beautifully structured all emotions delivered with complete conviction.

Equally, Tim Boden as Brian displayed an excellent balance of amused satisfaction at Sheila's discomfort and bewilderment in trying to explain his presence to Andrew.

As Andrew, Michael Husband demonstrated his comedic talents especially when trying to cover up the real reason for the presence of his glamorous secretary, Kayleigh Orrock who gave us a spirited and refreshing performance whilst consuming an abundance of cheesy footballs.

The eventual arrival of Jane, Jane Stewart, whose presence competently provided scope for more convoluted plotting and much consuming of alcohol.

Unusual for farce, this play relied on verbal rather than business to carry the story and it is great credit to Chris Shinn that he guided his cast to deliver moments of superb comic timing without much help from the play itself. Without the physical humour it must come from the plot which, in this piece, didn't quite produce the demented, inevitable spiral of farce leading to laugh upon laugh.

However, it was obvious that the cast were all comfortable in their roles and the reaction from the full house was genuinely enthusiastic.

As ever with WCP the Technical and FOH teams are superb a real effort is made to transform the school hall into something resembling an auditorium not an easy task but the welcome the audience receive is always warm and genuine.

Pat Hamilton