REVIEW: Kindly Keep It Covered, Westovians, South Shields
Anyone who knows the local theater scene will know that, when paired together, the words “Gareth Hunter” and “Farce” are destined for success, and billed as “a fast and furious farce, withmany twists and turns” the completely bonkers Kindly Keep It Covered by The Westovian Theatre Society does not disappoint.
Roland Dickerby used to work for the Kindly Insurance Company. He now (reluctantly) runs a health farm with his wife Julia. They bought this health farm with the hefty sum of money that Kindly Insurance Company paid out for the death of Julia’s first husband Sydney.
Dave Freemans Script a not so typical tale of coverups, camels and missing kebabs sees hapless husband Roland Dickerby (Craig Richardson) desperately trying to avoid trouble with the law, keep hungry customer Hooper (Ron Markwick) away from the biscuits, and hold on to his marriage to the love of his life Julie (Ashley Mitchell) while surprise guest Dr Louis – or is that chef Mctavish? – or is that the new head waiter? (Stephen Sullivan) makes all of this extremely difficult.
Throw into the mix an overbearing mother in law (Danielle Millar), The wife of an insurance fraud investigator (Lauren Waine) and a persistently puzzled police officer (Miriam Beber) on a brilliantly designed and constructed set (David Gibson/Ian Johnson) and you have a perfect recipe for hilarious disaster.
There is not one weak member of the cast. Richardson is hysterical as Dickerby, he knows what the audience wants and provides it in abundance, flinging himself around the stage and constantly finding his way out of trouble. Mitchell is a perfect partner as wife Julia, providing a balance between her hopeless husband Roland and militant mother Olivia while still being extremely engaging and likeable.
Sullivan is a riot as he passes himself off as a variety of different people in order to conceal his identity while also stealing trinkets from the set each time he’s onstage.
Markwick provides laughs galore as hungry Hooper, long suffering customer who just wants some proper food. Lauren Waine is hilarious as scouse wife Vanessa, a caring bird lover with a penchant for justice and Beber is great as the puzzled police officer who gets pulled into the perplexing events. Everyone works together fantastically to create a side splitting show, but for me, special mention must go to Danielle Millar as mother in law Olivia.
Her incredibly convincing performance as the pesky posh parent had me roaring with laughter every time she was on stage and provided the strong driving force needed to add even more gravity to the mayhem.
Directing team Gareth Hunter and Iain Cunningham have done a great job which is clearly reflected in the playfulness displayed on stage, making the play all the more engaging. It is no wonder that the audience were rolling in the isles all the way through, applauding throughout and culminated in a standing ovation at the end. More like this in future please!
A great team, a great show, well worth a watch!
Running at The Westovian Pier Pavilion until Saturday July 16 at 7.30pm, Tickets Â£7.50.