Reviewed by David Smith
This comedy, smoothly directed by Barry Hill, is a set-piece English comedy with plenty of one liners and predictable misunderstandings.
To the company’s credit the production was well-paced which is critical, especially through the rather laboured script of Act 1. The action was well-supported by a solid, functional living room set designed by Hill and Jeff Baker.
Peter Davies as Tom Lambert the television horticulturalist, was convincing in the role – knowledgeable in his field but naïve about money matters and ignorant of the taxation machinations of his accountant former wife, Sarah. Davies did well, especially in the many moments when Tom was feeling exasperated. As Sarah, Shelley Hampton was entirely credible as the seemingly straight yet actually crooked accountant.
Norm Caddock’s experience shone through in the role of Albert, Tom’s ‘cleaning person’. His timing and comic flair were as secure as ever, although the audience lost the occasional word or two in quieter moments. He shared one of the funniest scenes with the accomplished Sue Wylie as the dogged taxation investigator PC Lens. Together they pulled lots of laughs from their huge mutual misunderstandings.
Ellen Ferguson was a very sassy Lucy and Heath Trebilcock was suitably resolute as Mr Dodds, successfully maintaining his role leading up to one of the play’s major revelations late in the second Act.
On the whole the ensemble make a pretty good fist of the challenges presented by this play which for the most part was standard comic fare but had some highly unbelievable twists to the plot.
Peter Davies and Shelley Hampton in character