Not Now Darling

Not Now Darling is a traditional farce with all the regular hallmarks – people hiding in cupboards, spouses coming and going continuously and a wealth of mistaken identities and innuendo.

Firmly based in the 1960s, the script by Ray Clooney and John Chapman reminds one of the “Are You Being Served” comedy of the 1970, to which John Chapman was also a contributor. The extremely funny and very snappy script, gave an excellent cast every opportunity to shine, which they seized with both hands.

The small set was well presented and provided an effective space for the performers. The lighting and sound effects were subtly and effectively managed, with props and costumes clearly establishing the era. A constant stream of clothes flowing through the window, a clever plot and, most of all, superb pace maintained throughout there was never a dull moment.

The two main characters, Arnold Crouch and Gilbert Bodley, were played faultlessly and most effectively by Aidan West and Keith Irons. Displaying a strong chemistry as colleagues they both handled complex and often rapid dialogue with immense skill and conveyed the contrastingly cautious and rash characters of the two men very plausibly. Aidan in particular displaying immense energy and animation.

Emma Simpson as Janie McMichael and Lissy Rawlings as Sue Lawson played the femmes fatales from opposite ends of the social scale, quite beautifully, coping especially well with the varying states of undress involved.  Michelle Hope as the long-suffering secretary, Miss Tipdale, was a catalyst to much of the action, her timing and reaction noticeably good. Cameo performances were portrayed by the remaining cast, Imogen Richardson, Jan Richardson-Wilde, John Robinson, Paul Richardson,  Maria Lowcock and Glyn Casswell, all complementing  the overall production and creating a marvellous and genuinely humorous production.