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Folk and Blues
Caught in the Net
by Ray Cooney
The Mitre Theatre, Croydon
February 2013
Directed by Ian Brown

 

Please CLICK HERE to download a .pdf of the programme

Please CLICK HERE to go to Charles Marriott's Photos - Now all uploaded

 

CAUGHT IN THE NET

MITRE THEATRE, TRINITY SCHOOL, CROYDON

Reviewed by Peter Steptoe

Congratulations to Director Ian Brown and his assistant Julie Cumbo of Mitre Players for the furious pace, hysterical furore and panic stations necessary in this type of farce, for it is not often that a sequel is as funny as the original ‘Run For Your Wife; the only weak point is the explanation at the end.

John Smith played magnificently by Wayne Tryce was a bigamist with domestic establishments concurrently in Streatham and Balham. He had a son Gavin (Simon Long) resident in Streatham and a daughter Vicki (Rachel Walker) resident in Balham. They contacted over the internet and arranged to meet at the Balham House. All complications ensued from this and the Balham household also contained a lodger Stanley Gardner who was in league with John Smith and was deftly played by Neil O’Gorman. The multiple lies necessary for farce together with endless plot complications were further advanced by the befuddled appearance of Stanley’s geriatric Father (Colin Warnock), as they were due to depart on holiday. The father soon became convinced he was already at the seaside hotel, and this added to the merriment.

The set was excellent and represented both flats in a sort of Aykbourn manner, with a multiplicity of doors.

Ros Broyd Mother of Vicki had a variety of expressions covering, incredulity, disgust, rage and utter amazement while Kara Johnston as the mother of Gavin was the personification of sweetness and light.

The two juveniles held their own amidst the confusion, and rehearsals must have been great fun.

(This is the unedited text sent to the Croydon Advertiser by the reviewer, with no corrections)


No wooden performances, but carpenter was star of the show
(Posted on February 22, 2013by insidecroydon)

A farce in Croydon involving someone called “Gavin”? The lure of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd proved irresistible for our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK

Farce requires great timing, precise pace and some well-functioning doors.

In the case of Caught in the Net, Ray Cooney‘s follow up to Run for Your Wife, which is being performed at Trinity School this week by the Mitre Players, seven functioning doors are required, so when the drinks were being quaffed at the opening night party, let’s just hope that the back stage carpenter was toasted as a star of the show.

Heavy wear and tear on a set is inevitable in fast-moving farce and the Mitre Players’ production had taken few chances by testing out parts of the set up at the Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians clubhouse in early pre-production. Even so, one sticky door and one loose door during the first half of the opening night could have proved terminal to the production if it had not been for ad hoc repairs during the interval.

A lot of run throughs paid dividends in the flawless performance of the complexities of two geographically separate families appearing and mixing on the same stage at the same time without direct interaction but oblique clever connection.

The farce revolves around the efforts of John Smith (Wayne Trice) to keep his bigamist relationship a secret from his two wives (Ros Broyd and Kara Johnston), one in Wimbledon and one in Streatham, when his children from the marriages, Gavin (Simon Long) and Vicki (Rachel Walker), start to make connections over the internet and seek to meet.

After an initial fairly pedestrian scene-setting Neil O’Gorman’s Stanley Gardner portrayal was a dominant anchor in the show’s success.

Colin Warnock’s performance as Dad was a hoot.

Kara Johnston’s Barbara played the required Streatham accent well, belying her natural Edinburgh expression.

The farce, though, is a bit dated, with its occasional racial and homophobic references.