Our roving blogger, Sophia, went to see the Lyme Drama double Bill on Friday night…here is her exclusive Backstage! review:
“There are very few people your age know how to answer the door”
One of the many hilarious statements made during the performance of Say Something Happened; a tongue-in-cheek play written by Alan Bennett that has captured superbly the over-zealous attempts by social workers to ‘improve’ the lives of our elderly.
The characters of the cliché elderly couple were brilliantly portrayed as they each drifted off into their own world, but it is the reverse therapy that happens between ‘mum’ and June (the social worker) that makes it impossible not to laugh when mum says to June,
“From a broken home, living in a bedsitter in the inner city? You’re at risk!”
And for anyone who has been on the receiving end of this ‘care in the community’ policy, or at least witnessed it via an elderly parent or friend, knows exactly where Alan is coming from as interfering do-gooders try to rehabilitate their quarry. Alan’s brilliant observational satire encapsulates the best endeavours of social workers who turn the capable into the incapable!
So with humour primed, the opening scene to Black Comedy, a farce by Peter Shaffer revealing the rather complicated world of Brindsley Miller who has not only pinched some priceless antiques from his neighbour’s home, but is trying to sell one of his own creations whilst juggling the attentions of his fiancée and ex-girlfriend, I was laughing from the word go!
The blown fuse situation meant the entire performance was carried out in the dark; except it’s not, as the reversed lighting scheme in our theatre added to the slapstick hilarity of the show as everyone groped around and Colonel Melkett discovers his chair has been swapped for one with wheels!
“There’s something odd going on here”
The story is riotously fast moving with the teetotal Miss Furnival getting sloshed and the superb engineer who has come to repair the fuse box being mistaken for the millionaire art dealer, George Bamberger.
Both performances showed classic British comedy at its best, our sense of humour to laugh at ourselves in the face of incompetence or adversity. Laughter really is the best medicine!
Carry on theatre-ing! Well done Lyme Drama, and thanks Sophia. More next week…