Run For Your Wife is guaranteed to give you a laugh regardless of how well you've managed to master a 'stiff upper lip'. English playwright, Ray Cooney has succeeded in crafting a cleverly worded farce with witty one-liners and a plot that goes from bad to worse with the greatest of ease. Run For Your Wife is about a London cabbie, John Smith, who has managed to live a double life with two wives who reside within five minutes of each other. When an accident throws his carefully planned schedule between his two wives in disarray, he attempts to keep his secret undercover with a lie that quickly snowballs into a web of lies.
Director, Dorothy Henderson, has done a brilliant job at presenting Run For Your Wife. Her choice of cast work brilliantly together, and her crew manage a flawless presentation that includes lighting and sound that enhances the production without being distracting. The set is very colourful. Its simplicity is beautifully and cleverly designed to intertwine, yet depict, two lives in separate dwellings simply with the use of colour and a little imagination. This set-up did present a few seconds of confusion at the beginning of the play, but it wasn't long before you got the picture and could settle in and watch the emotional carnage unfold.
Noel Thompson, who plays John Smith, and Bob Allen, who plays Stanley, the upstairs neighbour, were a treat to watch. Their body language was superb, as were their facial expressions and on point delivery of their lines. The wives, Linda Furse (Mary) and Natalie Stephenson (Barbara) did well to keep a straight face considering the chaos they were subjected to. There were many special moments, but one, in particular, was when John, in a state of panic after seeing himself on the front page of the newspaper, snatched the paper from his wife, before she opened it, and proceeded to rip up the page. In an attempt to completely destroy the evidence, he shoved the torn pieces into his mouth. I don't recall seeing him swallow so he may have been spared the high doses of prune juice that would have followed to remedy the consequences.
Take this nonsensical play for what it is… a British farce that is designed to be light and humorous and based on exploiting a situation and making a mountain out of a molehill with comical consequences. Run For Your Wife is a barrel of laughs with a non-stop flow of energy. It was evident that the audience thoroughly enjoyed the production by the belly laughs and applause that was given in appreciation. I expected it to be a fun and lively production and it didn't disappoint. I highly recommend it, especially as a group booking for a guaranteed fun night out with friends.
Gold Coast Little Theatre may be tricky to find, but I encourage you to discover this little gem hidden at the Queen Street end of Scarborough Street, behind the Westpac drive-through bank, and adjacent to the Southport South tram station. Parking is available in front of the theatre. There is wheelchair access and an electronic chair to help those with wobbly knees to manage the stairs. On opening nights you get to enjoy snacks on arrival and supper after the show. There's a bar with an assortment of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks ranging from cheese and biscuits to chocolates and chips.
Run For Your Wife was performed at Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport, QLD
Director: Dorothy Henderson
Cast: John Smith: Noel Thompson
Stanley Gardener: Bob Allen Mary Smith: Linda Furse
Barbara Smith: Natalie Stephenson
Detective Troughton: Nathan Schulz
Dectective Porterhouse: Bruce Alker Jnr.
Bobby Franklin: George Pulley