Laughing Matters Theatre Company
DRESS FOR DINNER
Dates 27 June - 14 July 2007 Venue Waterfront Theatre Reviewer Ed Farolan
This hilarious farce made the audience laugh from start to finish. With all the elements of a comedy of errors involving mistaken identity and infidelity, the play was a romp, and the actors were simply comic, with all their funny antics, as a French comedie should be, yet perfectly adapted to a British setting.
The actors were simply hilarious. Suzette (Jenny Mitchell) was so wacky with her goofy movements when told to pretend to be a model; what was even funnier was the way she laughed whenever she made her exit lines. Bernard (Dave McIntosh) as the cuckolded husband was uproarious just by his mere stage presence, and the delivery of his lines produced fits of laughter among some members of the audience. Jacqueline (Nancy Ebert) was perfect with the timing of her punch lines; Robert (Mark Gash) was laughable as the best friend of Bernard and lover of Jacqueline, doing slapstick routines with Bernard, who, in one scene, had his face splattered with whipped cream.
Suzanne (Rachel Cushnie) as the mistaken cook was quite zany in a sexy way. I wish she could do something better with her blonde wig. And finally, George (Callum Henderson) as Suzatte's husband was perfect for the role as the unsuspecting husband who starts getting suspicious; he was superb with his cockneyed accent, and his brutish physique fit his role to a T.
The set design of a "converted farmhouse" by Alun Macanulty who has won awards for his sets was beautifully constructed, and director Darren Chije did an extremely great job mounting this fast-paced comedy. Congratulations also to dresser Marie Morris for the period dress and the costume changes.
This was a truly entertaining evening and I could see from the smiling faces of the audience as they left the theatre that they got their money's worth from this production. The company was started by Jenny Mitchell in 2005 after the South East Asian Tsunami, as a way to join the relief effort, and produce high-quality entertainment at the same time. Play readings starring Nicola Cavendish, Jennifer Clement, Bernard Cuffling, Vince Gale and Katey Wright have raised funds for UNICEF, and the company has also raised money for the North Shore Christmas Bureau. They have in the past two years donated $10,000 to charity! And the partial proceeds of this summer's production will be going to the Greater Vancouver Food Banks.
Their motto is "Laughing matters", appropriately naming the company as such. I'm sure that with the high calibre of actors in the company, there will be more laughing matters in the next months to come, and I certainly look forward to seeing more comedies put up by this excellent group of actors.
© 2007 Ed Farolan