Combine four amorous couples, a slightly fruity decorator, and a children’s author obsessed with dogs as well as many other surprises, and the result can only be a Ray Cooney comedy. This time staged by the Silent Hands who (no pun intended) are dab hands in the art of farce.
Described as one of Ray Cooney’s wittiest scripts, ‘Move over Mrs. Markham’, directed by Chief Hands Jehan Bastians and Neidra Williams, comes to the Lionel Wendt from December 10-13 at 7.30 p.m. Jerome L. De Silva, Neidra Williams, Miranga Ariyaratne, Jehan Bastians, Sulochana Perera, Bimsara Premaratne, Roshni Gunaratne, Milinda Mendis and Minosh Joachim, make up the cast of what promises to be one memorable Christmas stress- buster.
As to any hints regarding what to expect, readers will have to be satisfied with the knowledge that within the comedy which bears resemblance to a P. G Wodehouse plot, there will be plenty of misunderstandings, mistaken identities and overall chaos complemented with typical British humour and punctuated with doorbells which play the William Tell Overture.
‘Move over Mrs. Markham’ is definitely one of the fastest paced comedies we have produced,” comments Jehan, adding that the cast is absolutely perfect for this particular comedy.
Established in 1999, the Silent Hands pride themselves on being different, even if being different results in being slightly controversial at times. “We are one of the few self-financed theatre companies,” explains Neidra, “and we take risks purely due to the satisfaction we gain from seeing those risks pay off.”
Adds Jehan, “We also do our best to bring in new blood to the stage; to give aspiring dramatists their break, and in the case of a few roles this is what we have done for ‘Move over Mrs. Markham’.”
Aware of the fact that promoting a drama during the holiday season would have its challenges, the cast too has worked towards doing things differently. Many of our readers who are also Facebook junkies will no doubt have come into contact with the wacky bunch of characters through their Facebook profiles - from the staid and conscientious Phillip Markham to the philandering Henry Lodge, the balmy Alistair Spenlow and the unforgettable Olive Harriet Smythe.
A relatively unconventional tactic in Colombo, this has received a phenomenal response. “Apart from getting to know the characters before the play is staged, some of our fans out there have taken seriously, Olive Smythe’s comments about dogs and have sent us messages asking for tips and advice on their pets!” laughs Jehan.
The script is hilarious and so is the cast. Although most of them find it difficult to come to a common consensus on many things, they all agree on one thing - the fact that ‘Markham’ will be one big laugh from beginning to end.
Tickets and box plan for this comedy, priced at Rs. 1000, 800, 500 and 300 are available at tickets.lk and at the Lionel Wendt.