7,14,15 October, 2006, Felpham Village Hall
The action is set in the flat of young artist Brindsley Miller on the night when a famous German millionaire George Bamberger is visiting to view his work, a night when he is also to meet the father of his dippy debutante fiancée Carol Melkett.
Brindsley needs to impress both visitors so he ‘borrows’ the antiques of his camp and very particular neighbour Harold Gorringe who is supposedly away for the weekend.
Unfortunately a blown fuse, which plunges the flat into darkness, thwarts Brindsley’s best laid plans and provides some hilarious encounters with a stream of visitors who arrive on the scene but who cannot see the mayhem unfolding before them. There is his dotty abstentious spinster neighbour Miss Furnival, also Harold who unexpectedly returns and must be kept ‘in the dark’ about the use of his priceless possessions, Clea a previous mistress who unexpectedly arrives and must be kept hidden by Brindsley from both his fiancée and his prospective father-in law Colnel Melkett. The final comedic twist is when Schuppanzigh the electrician, who has come to mend the fuse, and the millionaire George Bamber are mistaken for each other as a result of their similar accents.
Brindsley, our tragic-comedic hero, constantly struggles with white lies and the ongoing task of returning under the cover of darkness Harold’s precious antiques when Harold returns unexpectedly. Peter Shaffer ensues that we can enjoy all the fumbling in the dark action by the ingenious device of light reversal so that when the characters can ‘see’ the stage is in darkness so we the audience are blind to the action and vice versa; this means for much of the show the characters can only grope their way around the set with very funny consequences.
The Regis Players
Reviewed by: Jose Harrison
Venue: Felpham Village Hall
Type of Production: Play
National Operatic and Dramatic Association
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Patron: The Lord Lloyd Webber