Reviewed by Fran Edwards
As usual for a Players production, the set was well designed, appropriate and looked great. That’s where most of the good news ends. This well loved, amusing Noel Coward script did not fare well.
The painful stumbling for lines by two major characters slowed the action to almost a standstill at times. Terry Boswell in the Noel Coward role, Charles, struggled to be believable and that was when he wasn’t struggling with his lines. Sylvia Bolingbroke in the pivotal role of Madame Arcarti was simply miscast. She had great difficulty maintaining her character and the pauses between her lines did not help. It was totally unbelievable that she was leaving to get on a bike and pedal seven miles home!
However, there were some positives. Teresa and Bill Wood put in solid performances as the Bradfords, and Angela Short gave a credible performance as Ruth despite the lack of support. Valeria Veresbaranji occasionally brightened the stage as Elvira, but needs more mischievousness. In her stage debut, Heather Riley did well as Edith the maid.
There are some nice lighting touches and the special effects at the end work well. The music was appropriate for the era, but it will take more than that to save this production. It will get better, but I doubt it will recover from the major mistakes made in casting.