RUBERY Drama Group’s latest offering Pardon Me, Mr Prime Minister was fabulous farce at its finest.
It did everything a classic comedy in that genre should – literally for nearly all of it as one door opened, another one shut and it was packed full of mishaps, misunderstandings and the odd innuendo.
The action takes place in the Prime Minister’s study at 10 Downing Street on the eve of a budget where a self-righteous, moralistic and somewhat over zealous chancellor, The Rt Hon Hector Crammond MP, wants to tax everything enjoyable that is ‘corrupting the nation’.
The whole country’s vices are on the hit-list – alcohol, tobacco, gambling (even bingo halls) and other entertainment establishments but then a surprise is thrown up which means it is in the Prime Minister’s interests to get the budget modified.
Timing is everything in farcical comedy and every one of these talented actors made sure it was faultless on a very enjoyable evening.
Julie Brotherhood and Jayne Worth put in solid performances as Miss Frobisher and Dora Springer. Roy Watton also gave a good portrayal as Scottish Chancellor Crammond.
Paula Hogarth played her pivotal role perfectly as Shirley Springer who ‘springs’ the big surprise that changes everything and Ian Kimberley-Ryan was excellent as Rodney Campbell, the PM’s right hand man. Very often he did not have to say anything to get the laughs as his body language and fantastic facial expressions said it all.
He had a great on-stage chemistry with Paul Harris who stole the show as bumbling Prime Minister Rt Hon George Venables MP.
Harris played the central role so perfectly that he took the audience with him all the way and they empathised with every shocking situations he found himself in. You could tell everyone wanted him to get through the scrapes he faced and come out the other side unscathed.
This hilarious play by Edward Taylor and John Graham was wonderfully directed by Ian Ring and Ian Kimberley-Ryan.
It also provided more than two hours of escapism even though, while it was written and is set in the 1970s, the problems and pitfalls facing the PM sound very familiar and the issues were very much prevalent today.
The country is in turmoil and there are plans simmering in the background for the PM to be ousted by his cabinet. The only thing missing is the European Union.
This marvellous masterpiece is well worth a watch and, like all good farces, there is literally a laugh-a-minute.
The final performances take place at 7.30pm tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday, October 21, at The Beacon Church Centre, Whetty Lane.
Tickets, at £7 (£6 concessions) are available on the door or by calling 0121 453 8733 or 0121 445 2323.