No wooden performances, but carpenter was star of the show

A farce in Croydon involving someone called “Gavin”? The lure of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd proved irresistible for our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK

A bit of a farce: Neil O’Gorman, left, Simon Long, right, and Wayne Trice's bottom in the Mitre Players' latest production, together with three of the set's seven doors. Pictures by Charles Marriott

A bit of a farce: Neil O’Gorman, left, Simon Long, right, and Wayne Trice’s bottom in the Mitre Players’ latest production, together with three of the set’s seven doors. Pictures by Charles Marriott

Farce requires great timing, precise pace and some well-functioning doors.

In the case of Caught in the Net, Ray Cooney‘s follow up to Run for Your Wife, which is being performed at Trinity School this week by the Mitre Players, seven functioning doors are required.

So when the drinks were being quaffed at the opening night party, let’s just hope that the back stage carpenter was toasted as a star of the show.

Heavy wear and tear on a set is inevitable in fast-moving farce and the Mitre Players’ production had taken few chances by testing out parts of the set up at the Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians clubhouse in early pre-production. Even so, one sticky door and one loose door during the first half of the opening night could have proved terminal to the production if it had not been for ad hoc repairs during the interval.

A lot of run throughs paid dividends in the flawless performance of the complexities of two geographically separate families appearing and mixing on the same stage at the same time without direct interaction but oblique clever connection.

The farce revolves around the efforts of John Smith (Wayne Trice) to keep his bigamist relationship a secret from his two wives (Ros Broyd and Kara Johnston), one in Wimbledon and one in Streatham, when his children from the marriages, Gavin (Simon Long) and Vicki (Rachel Walker), start to make connections over the internet and seek to meet.

Caught in the door: The Mitre Players' production of Caught in the Net depends on slick timing and entrances and exits through the set's many doors

Caught in the door: The Mitre Players’ production of Caught in the Net depends on slick timing and entrances and exits through the set’s many doors

After an initial fairly pedestrian scene-setting Neil O’Gorman’s Stanley Gardner portrayal was a dominant anchor in the show’s success.

Colin Warnock’s performance as Dad was a hoot.

Kara Johnston’s Barbara played the required Streatham accent well, belying her natural Edinburgh expression.

The farce, though, is a bit dated, with its occasional racial and homophobic references.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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