This hilarious play should carry a health warning aimed at amateur directors, producers, actors and parents of any youngsters thinking of taking up theatrical careers.
It should read something like this: ‘Warning – taking part in amateur theatre could be injurious to your physical and mental health, may engender feelings of low self-esteem and carries a Danger of Death. And your best efforts may provide fodder for professional theatre companies seeking to make comic capital out of your disasters’.
It was a laugh a minute as we were royally entertained by the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society and a keen member of Cornley Youth Theatre, aka The Mischief Theatre Company, as they struggled to stage their traditional Christmas entertainment (some people thought it was a pantomime, but it was made perfectly clear that Oh No It Wasn’t).
Every disaster you dreamed could befall a show – and some which must, surely, be flights of fancy and not culled from bitter experience – features here: the director with high-blown ambitions, the youngster with a stutter (this is not a politically correct show, laughing at the afflicted is not just encouraged it’s completely unavoidable), the cast member who’s only in the show because of their rich uncle’s cash contribution, the actress really rather too mature to make her casting believable, the stagehands so eager to be helpful they can’t keep out of the limelight...the list goes on and on.
Amid bouts of sidesplitting, I marvelled at the amount of rehearsal time it must take to get so many stunts so spectacularly performed, at such breathtaking speed.