At the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury this week, comes a remake of the 80’s comedy from Ray Cooney, ‘Out of Order’.
Ray, who now has an OBE and is celebrating 70 years in the theatre, has had his plays performed all over the world-his favourite being “Out of Order”.
The show, boasts a cast list of stars – Susie Amy (Footballers Wives), Shaun Williamson (Eastenders), James Holmes (Miranda), and Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses), being the “well known” among them.
Monday night was the press night for the show-and on first sight, there were a distinct lack of “bums on seats”. The star cast, suggest to the unprofessional eye, a ‘star show’-unfortunately this was not the case.
If you’re massive fan of slapstick comedy or “farce” comedy as this show is described, you will be pleased to know those things are in abundance throughout.
But I’m unsure as to whether the negative response was because of a difference in what today’s generation find funny in comparison to what was funny in the past. In this day and age, when jokes are made regarding homosexuality, in a negative way, or the female leads are portrayed as desperate harlots, it doesn’t seem to go down well with those from the current era we find ourselves in.
However, what this show does have in abundance is energy and stamina from the cast-who never really get a break from dialogue, but never falter through a second of it.
The lighting and the set is perfect-the one scene stage showing a hotel room which works perfectly even when characters leave, to move to unseen rooms and walk around the rest of the hotel off stage.
The audio is also spot on, all dialogue is heard clearly and precisely.
For me what let this play down was the script- the constant overkill of the same joke, the never-ending complicated farce, and the overworked routines. Perhaps it just needs to be viewed by people with a different type of humour.
The show runs until April 1.
Tickets are still available from the Marlowe Theatre here.
By Jemma Willson