No Sex, Please - We're British by Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot---------------------
"Having had to cancel this production last autumn, I was pleased to see that Phoenix had been able to get this show on the boards for the February slot. The pace demanded by a farce is frenetic and the director has a complex job of ensuring this is so. The group is very experienced with this type of genre so I was expecting a high standard and I wasn't disappointed.
There was a very pleasing number in the House that evening and I was delighted to hear that ticket sales were very good. The photographic display was full, fascinating and very informative. The programme was detailed and interesting and the layout was particularly clear and eye-catching.
I liked the set enormously. It was very faithful to the demands of the script and looked fresh, modern and very suitable for the young manager and his new wife. The colouring was good and the matching furniture was pleasing. The hatch was excellent and worked superbly. being so integral to the action at the beginning of the play, it was very pleasing to see how well this had been conceived. There was plenty of space for the actors to use especially as the stage had an apron for the action to spill onto.
The pace of this type of show is fast and furious with many complications to be added to enhance the erratic action, the Director had coped with this well and considering that I was seeing the show on the first night, the pace didn't flag too much, the words were very sure and the stage business worked well. the characters had clear definition and their relationships were credible. The first half laboured far more than the second with rather too much face-pulling between Peter and Frances to overcome the lack of tempo. I enjoyed the change of pace with Eleanor's arrival and her dramatic stances and over emphasised enunciation made for pleasing changes. Brian's jitteriness and fidgety manner suited the role well and I found him credible and fast.
I do compliment you on getting so much of the "business" side off this production well timed and executed. The use of the hatch was particularly good as were the rapid moves across and around the stage near the end. It was evident that choreographing these moments had been worked on meticulously to create the maximum humour with the near-misses and the final of the girls seeing Bromhead was staged well.
It was an enjoyable evening that had been a tussle to get to the performance stage and I applaud you on your determination to achieve this."
Tricia Stephens-North West Essex Theatre Guild
"The group broke a long silence with this rather dated farce about a bank manager who tries to cover -up a mistaken purchase of pornography. I have seen the group do farce really well, though this time, the director went for a witty approach rather than energetic slapstick.---------------------
It worked better in the second half when the pace picked up and the slapstick was unavoidable.
Perhaps because of the long gap in productions, the group started off hesitantly. There were some awkward pauses , and they didn't predict when where the laughs were coming from.
I saw the play on the first night, which would account for some of the awkwardness.
The audience appreciated the play, and it's nice to see the group back in action. Let's hope it's not as long till the next one."
Jim Hutchon-Weekly News
"This was the group at their very best: farce, they are really first rate at this medium and the director certainly had his troops well drilled. As I have said many times in the past, with farce, timing is everything and this was demonstrated to perfection in this production. With an excellent set providing the ideal backdrop, the cast were able to carry out all the required action with ease. They were all well cast and believable characters. Another resounding success for the group"
Colin Butcher-National Operatic and Dramatic Association
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