Not Now Darling
Venue : Redditch Palace Theatre
Date : October 1992
Genre : Farce
Assistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Fast, furious and fun!
THE Palace Theatre is full of fur coats and no knickers with Wythall Theatre Company's version of 'Not Now Darling'. This fast, furious and fun farce by Ray Cooney and John Chapman, is full of double entendrees and tounge-in-cheek remarks through out.
Wythall give it their all to bring you a highly polished performance on a striking set, which takes you back to a 1960's furrier.
Partners, Arnold Grouch (John Parkes), a jolly English gent and his opposite, womaniser, Gilbert Bodley (Michael Beamish), keep the play running at high speed. All confusion Is all down to Bodley's affair with Janie McMIchaol, a stripper who he saw in Paris, while his wife is on business in America.
This is hilarious farce at its best brought to life by a very good cast.
David Blakelock, Unknown Publication
Funny Furry Farce
What a right Carry On! Mistresses, mayhem and madness graced the Palace Theatre for the company’s latest offering.
If you love farces, those ‘Whoops, there goes my trousers’ plays, then you’ll love the fast and furious Not Now Darling.
Set in an exclusive furriers, every character is up to something they shouldn’t with someone else.
And although I’m not farces greatest fan, I have to admit this production made me giggle. John Parkes as Arnold Crouch was marvellous and was very well supported by the rest of the cast.
Credits must go to Anne Cherry as Miss Tipdale, Mike Beamish as Gilbert Bodley and Jonathon Prior (who you will recognise from Sweeney Todd) as Harry McMichael.
Unknown, Redditch Advertiser, 7 October 1992
A Farce of Top Quality
You would have to travel a long way to see farce handled better on the amateur stage. Angela Smith’s production has pace and pep and the lines are delivered with the right degree of ringing desperation.
This is especially true of Mike Beamish and John Parkes as the proprietors of the fourth floor furriers.
Full marks too to the daffy Joy Rodgers. This fizz filled production ends on October 10th.
John Slim, Birmingham Evening Mail
Talented band deserve much more support
"I'm sorry but I can't make press night, or any other night of the run. Perhaps I could sit in on a dress rehearsal?" At the other end of the line an intake of breath that would*ve got a jet turbine going. " I'll have to check with the director."
She rang back within minutes, and that's how I found myself sitting in a dark and empty Palace Theatre, Redditch alongside the Wythall Theatre Group's current director Angela Smith, as the Cooney/Chapman farce Not Now Darling rattled along like an inter-city up on stage.
In what I imagined would be lulls in the action I wanted to pick Angela's brain about the amateur theatre scene. But there are no lulls - not the way this hard-working and dedicated band play it, anyway.
Set in the fitting-salon of an expensive furriers it involves the attempts of the managing director to present a £5,000 mink coat to his already married girlfriend, while simultaneously passing it off as a £500 bargain to her gullible husband, who is less gullibly trying to do something similar for his lover... and so on.
All the ingredients are there: hiding in cupboards, mistaken identities, double entendre, and two scantily-clad young ladies in the shapely forms of Jenny Bradford and Denise Bishop.
And I simply have to single out the twin pivots of all this coming and going, Michael Beamish and John Parkes as the lascivious MD and his prissy partner. who perform a first-class double act as the action swirls tornado-lime around them.
"Now Angela, amateur theatre....?" Too Late, she's up on stare during a well-earned interval, armed with a clipboard, laying into the cast over this microscopic detail or that - things I hadn't even noticed.
Even while she was back alongside me she was continually hissing reprimands through a radio link to someone backstage. presumably to be passed on when the sweating mummers collapsed in wings.
Little space here for all things I did learn, however. They obviously love what they do.
They'd welcome more members, particularly men. It's time consuming and jolly hard work, and they wish more would make effort go see them.
On the strength of this performance, so do I.
David Whipp, Bromsgrove Advertiser