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Kindly Keep it Covered by Dave Freeman
Cope Auditorium, Loughborough
October 2007
Directed by Alan Whiteland
Produced by Lawrence Holmes  

By their very nature, farces inhabit a parallel universe to ours.

They have their own peculiar rules and follow their own laws and the Falcon Players'  farce Kindly Keep It Covered at the Cope Auditorium last week was no exception.   Once you accept that fact, don't look for deep or hidden meanings - though there were plenty of double entendres in the play - don't see it as a slice of reality.   Just sit back and enjoy it for what it is, a couple of hours of honest belly laughs.

I won't begin to try to explain the plot:  a health spa, a husband coming back from the dead, an insurance claim, all well and truly knotted up in the best farcical manner and sort of unravelled at the end.   Throw in a dummy (which doubled as a body thrust up the chimney, only to descend at the most inopportune moments), a stuffed camel, a wicker basket full of sandwiches and beer and you have all the necessary ingredients to send the audience into the aforementioned parallel universe.

The audience laughed a lot, more so in the second act when the play picked up speed.   Much of the humour focused on Brian Binns' character's impromptu flashing and all the mis-understandings that followed.

Brian's french accent wobbled a bit, but he held our interest throughout, playing up the visual as well as the verbal aspects of his role.   And there was plenty of stage 'business' with Andy Holt's Roland, the hapless second husband.

Farce depends on teamwork and Andy (with his plaintive voice and troubled conscience) established a good rapport both with his confused wife Julia (Rachel Fitzpatrick) and his domineering mother-in-law Olivia (Liz Cox).

Stuart Bailey's frequent appearances (in shorts with braces!) always raised a chuckle as did his search for food and his predilection for the brown cupboard in the corner.   Debbie Blake was suitably silly, innocent and ignorant, quite unable to repeat what she saw under the raincoat and unable to convince anyone what was lurking up the chimney, and Peter Legg's
cameo role of a rather slow-witted policeman amused the audience too.

Altogether a hilarious romp through the world of farce in spite of some slow patches and first night rough edges.   The Falcon Players are to be applauded for offering us this particular theatrical genre and the audience's laughter was a reward for all their efforts, actors, producer and back-stage workers alike.

(review by Roy Jones)


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