Farce is one of the hardest theatrical genres to pull off – especially for an amateur dramatics group.
But Alnwick Theatre Club did a pretty good job with Robert Scott’s According to Rumour at Alnwick Playhouse on Wednesday night.
There was plenty of slamming doors, interwoven affairs, misunderstandings, crazy characters, costume changes and that magic farcical ingredient – double entendres.
And, barring the odd first-night hiccup on Wednesday evening (May 9), they were delivered with aplomb.
The play itself is a cross between farce and mystery, with a rapidly-changing-hands stash of £50,000 thrown into a complex web of relationships.
Carter, who is trying to get over his divorce to Sheena, wakes on his sofa with no memory of the previous, raucous night and is joined by a woman called Kitty Kat, who is naked under her dressing gown, and his rather-worse-for-wear pal Roger.
When they discover the wads of cash in the fridge, visitors, both unexpected and unwanted, stream in and out of the flat as the plot unravels, becoming ever more raunchy.
Andrew Fletcher (Carter) and Paul Tutleman (Roger) provide the steady backbone to the piece, delivering a lot of quickfire lines like machine guns. Their comic timing and banter kept the performance sizzling.
Theatre Club stalwart Peter Biggers (Ashley) waded in with another character study, this time a ponderous Irish postie, who knows more than he makes out and isn’t ‘just delivering the letters’.
Carolynn Thomson (Kitty Kat) and Julie Vint (Harriet, Carter’s mother) neatly provided the glamour and more intrigue, while the biggest laughs were reserved for Susan Joyce, who played both twins Maxine and Martine, European au pairs. With a change of cardigan, Susan flitted between the two characters, completing the physically demanding role in and out of different doors with breathless hilarity. I really wanted that scenario to be developed further.
Rounding off the nicely-painted picture were Emily Deck (Emma, Carter’s sister) and Richard Glenn (Logan, a cop and Emma’s intended).
It was a shame there weren’t more people in the audience but those who were seemed to enjoy it, creating a decent atmosphere.
To buy tickets for the remaining performances, call the box office on 01665 510785, pop in to the Playhouse or visit the website https://www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk/ and follow the Community link.