Move Over Mrs Markham

Theatre Review

Move Over Mrs Markham

Newcastle G and S Players Comedy Club,

St Matthew’s Church Hall,

Georgetown

Ends November 11

THE writers of Move Over Mrs Markham, Ray Cooney and John Chapman, worked so well together as actors in farcical comedies that they subsequently had no trouble in writing them.

And this play, first staged in 1969, can still have audiences laughing from beginning to end in well-staged productions.

That, sadly, is not the case here.

The Comedy Club had a hit with the show when it presented it five years ago in a different venue, but the current place, a long, narrow hall that has watchers often distant from the action as the characters move about, makes it difficult to know what is going on.

The apartment of Mr and Mrs Markham, where three different couples are trying to have illicit relationships while the hosts are supposedly attending a dinner, is supposed to be small, so that the characters repeatedly find themselves bumping into each other.

And when the people are sitting down or picking suspicious objects off the floor, it is often hard to see what they are doing.

It’s a shame, because four of the actors are repeating the roles they played so well previously and the newcomers show signs of being adept at this demanding performance style.

The show is preceded by a first-class meal, so it’s regrettable that the audience don’t get their just desserts with what follows.