Reading Alive - December 7th, 2006


Farce fits the bill

Looking for an antidote to panto? The Mill at Sonning may have the answer.
IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY entertainingly follows the farcical imperative of sinking people deeper into trouble the more they try to escape from it. It has a Christmas setting at a London hospital where high-flying David Mortimore (Michael Cochrane) is due to address an international symposium.
There always has to be a ‘fall guy’ in farce and this unenviable role goes to Mortimore’s timid colleague Hubert Bonney.
He is portrayed by Richard Dennington, whose improvised song and dance routines are a highlight of the evening.
Veteran Dennis Ramsden and Jacqueline Clarke slip comfortably into the roles they played in the original London production. Ramsden is pomposity incarnate as hospital bigwig Sir Willoughby Drake and Clarke as an old-style ‘iron lady’ matron is even more alarming when she sheds her inhibitions! Damian Hunt makes a good impression as teenage tearaway, Leslie.
Director Ron Aldridge keeps the action moving briskly along.