(Text from review in Holy Trinity Parish Magazine for July 2017)
Brian Cutler reviews the latest offering from Cuckfield Dramatic Society, ‘Bridge to Farce’
[WARNING – For those still to see the show at Hurstpierpoint this review contains spoilers!]
It has been said that farce treats the improbable as probable and the impossible as possible. The idea of two couples mistaking the venue of their Saturday night out and ending up with totally different evenings to what they had been expecting is really quite improbable, if not impossible. However, this is exactly what Richard Willis and Paul Ruse’s new play, Bridge to Farce, convinces you can happen.
The Nicol-Stevens (Margaret, the politically ambitious wife, and Norman, a henpecked, golf loving husband), are expecting a couple they do not know, the Websters, for a game of bridge. The young couple that arrive, Barrie and Angie, are looking forward, somewhat anxiously, to a totally different kind of evening, a wife swapping party. As other guests arrive the opportunity for misunderstanding and double entendre are innumerable and the language of bridge subjected to the strangest of interpretations.
Meanwhile, the Collin (George, a photographer, and Zoe, a model, both of whom enjoy the recreational use of sex and drugs to the full), are awaiting their unknown and anonymous guests. The real Websters arrive and soon find that this is not quite the evening that they had in mind either. However, by the time that they realise their mistake, they are enjoying the evening so much that they suggest the Nicol-Stevens join them. Chaos reigns with some resolution in the final act, though the investigations of DS Doyle, the perspicacity of the prosecuting counsel, Nailer, and the judgement of the local magistrate, none of the other than Norman Nicol-Stevens.
This amusing and entertaining piece has no fewer than 21 roles undertaken by a cast of 15 talented actors. However, their success is not primarily in any individual performance, but in how the Director, Sophie Bradshaw, enabled the whole company to work together to produce a lively, engaging and fun show. Of course farce can be seen as just that – something to make us laugh. However it does also demonstrate just how much perception is dependent upon expectation, on the mind set with which we approach any issue.
Watch out for CDS’ next production, Chekov’s Uncle Vanya, in the autumn.
There is also a review on the NODA website – see link here.