THEFT by Eric Chapell

Dates and Venue 7 November - 5 December 2009 @ 8pm with Matinees 15 and 29 November @ 2pm  | Metro Theatre (1370 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver)

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Just as we have Norm Foster in Canada, England has its Eric Chapell, a prolific comedy writer for both stage and television. He has become a favourite of Metro Theatre, and just this year alone, I've reviewed three of his comedies, Father's Day, Up and Coming and now, this one. Director Judith Barkley White, in her programme notes, has this to say about Chapell: "The playwright has a keen knack for classic comedy but also leaves us with something to think about."

And that's precisely what I've observed in his plays. He's witty with that classic British humour, and yet, unlike some writers like Neil Simon where we roar at his punch lines, Chapell's lines are clever and we don't guffaw--we simply smile and laugh politely. The play is partly a satire on unemployment, exploitative business and a comic twist on thievery. Is the thief really a thief, or are we all thieves in one way or another?

The cast was quite at home with this comedy which flowed with ease at the matinee performance I viewed. Luke Day (Trevor Farrington) played his part as the pretentious decadent British aristocrat who is currently, according to him, "a minor government official". Gerard Ponsford (John Miles) is the "rags to riches" man whose business practices are questionable. I felt he was so at ease with his part that Stanislavsky would most probably have been delighted with his acting.

Rosalyn Winther (Jenny Farrington) and Chris McBeath (Barbara Miles) portrayed their roles with relish; and last but not least, Tom Kavadias (Spriggs) did a great job portraying the lying, scheming and manipulative thief. I enjoyed this delightful production, and I believe this will ne another comedy hit for Metro Theatre during its run! Kudos to cast and crew for another flawlessy produced show!

© 2009 Ed Farolan