The International Writers Magazine
:Stage Review

Funny Money
A comedy by Ray Cooney.
11th and 12 January 2006
Wiltshire Studios.

Rowena Betts and Alex Segal produced a spectacular piece as their directorial debut. Taking Ray Cooney’s 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 everyone’s 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 haven’t 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 wonderful.
This was a wonderful gem to arrive at the Studios. I just hope you didn’t miss it. It was fantastic.

Funny Money was played by students and graduates from the Creative Arts Programme at the University of Portsmouth

More reviews


© Hackwriters 1999-2006 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy - no liability accepted by or affiliates.