The International Writers Magazine:Stage Review
A comedy by Ray Cooney.
11th and 12 January 2006
Betts and Alex Segal produced a spectacular piece as their directorial
debut. Taking Ray Cooneys masterpiece Funny Money
they created a laugh-a-minute show.
If you are not familiar
with the script it features Henry, a run of the mill office worker who
mistakenly picks up a suitcase that contains £735,000 instead
of his own briefcase that contains a cheese sandwich. He tries to persuade
wife Jean that she should shun friends Vic and Betty for a first class
flight to Barcelona.
During the night many characters arrive, including an irate taxi driver,
a police officer and a corrupt detective. Every character is introduced
to the arriving guests as someone else than they really are.
Betty becomes a sister from Australia, for example. This leads to some
very confused but very funny dialogue.
Chris Philipps returned to Wiltshire Studios to play bandy legged Henry.
His astonishment grew as more characters arrived and another few lies
were required. He mastered the challenge of playing Henry and trying
to remember everyones supposed names. His energy kept the pace
of performance wonderfully.
Becci Denmark, James Farrar and Kezia Walton were all introduced to
Portsmouth by this production and what lovely introductions they were.
James has the confused and somewhat simple Vic down to a pat. Kezia
portrayed the loveable Betty wonderfully. There was a real sense of
friendship between her and the other couples in the house. And finally,
Becci; what can I say? She has learnt a lot about drunken behaviour
in her first 3 months of university. Seriously, as an actor, she created
the steady stupor into drunkenness right before our eyes.
I really enjoyed this show. I havent laughed so much in a long
time. Simon Lane as the corrupt Detective just infuriates you as he
swindles more and more money. Amy Dumell as Slater was wonderful. Caring
and concerned about Jean, but at the same time, stern and very scary
as a police officer. Alexander Purser cleverly convinced us he was dying
from the attack of the brerfcurse. Rich Chilver as the taxi
driver was in a part just written for him. The hat and the accent just
added to the effect of a typical London cabbie.
Congratulations to Gemma Ayres with her debut stage management. The
stage looked beautiful. The props, from fake money to cocaine, were
This was a wonderful gem to arrive at the Studios. I just hope you didnt
miss it. It was fantastic.
Funny Money was played by students and graduates from the Creative
Arts Programme at the University of Portsmouth
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