See How They Run – Civic Theatre, Darlington
Posted by: The Reviews Hub – Yorkshire & North East
Writer: Philip King
Director: Eric Potts
See How They Run is a glorious farce presented by Warwick Davis and the members of the Reduced Height Theatre Company.
Written in 1945, it is a hilarious nonsense that is quite literally “Hello Vicar, whoops – there go my trousers”. With escaped Germans, Bishops, soldiers, visiting vicars and a village battle-axe, it has all the ingredients of confusion and misdirection needed for the show to be a classic.
Francesca Mills steals every scene in her rôle of Ida (the maid), her acting and physicality are perfect in every appearance and her facial expressions can say so much more than mere words could convey.
Warwick Davis plays Rev. Lionel Toop takingalmost a back seat in the show, allowing the rest of the cast to perform and shine without his obvious fame overshadowing them.
The first act is a bit slow during the amusing interaction between Rachel Denning as Penelope Toop and Francesca Papagno as Miss Skillon but speeds up in the second act, and after the interval the third act gallops to the speedy conclusion. The chase scene with Davis, Phil Holden, Raymond Griffiths and Jon Key was especially entertaining and Jamie John’s confused cleric was comical. Peter Bonner as Sergeant Towers is side-splitting in his interrogations.
Special mention must go out to the costumes and the set. They are perfect and totally in proportion for the cast who all average out around 4’2”. The set in particular is a joy. On first glance, it appears to be made for a cast of more average height, but only when the actors appear do you realise how perfect in proportion it is. Although, the acting and surroundings are so perfect, you forget the cast are short. What they lack in height they more than make up for in talent. A fantastic and hilarious night out, you won’t be disappointed.