Review: Farce is as bonkers as they come

Sudbury Dramatic Society in a scene from their new play, Rumours ANL-151022-113241001
Sudbury Dramatic Society in a scene from their new play, Rumours ANL-151022-113241001

Crazy, quirky, fast and fun.

That’s the best way to describe Sudbury Dramatic Society’s latest production at the town’s Quay Theatre.

Neil Simon’s farce Rumours centres round party guests, who arrive at a 10th wedding anniversary party to find there are no servants, the hostess is missing and their host has shot himself.

With the host a prominent Government official, and the guests all sharing his high profile – protecting their social standing and careers from scandal is paramount.

As the first to arrive it is down to top barrister Ken Bevans (Richard Fawcett) and his young wife Chris Bevans (Hayley Nunn) to decide what to do.

The mayhem that ensued as successive guests arrived and panicked tales and excuses became wildly exaggerated, left the audience roaring.

Despite being a comedy it demands your attention as the ‘rumours’ fly and successive guests enter, each with their own troubles and tales.

Stand-out performer is Kevin Roychowdhury playing tax consultant Len Cummings.

He arrives having just been involved in a car crash in his brand-new BMW, his night going from bad to worse as he gets involved in covering the tracks from suspicious guests and police officers.

A frantic, stumbling, stuttering mess struggling with the emotion and his short-temper, the character that is, it’s a wonder Roychowdhury survived the night in the role.

His wife Clare, played by Sarah Harvey-Wade, is the group’s socialite, enjoying a good gossip, and at first she enjoys the drama of the evening, eager to find out the dirt to pass on at the tennis club.

The characters are all high-flyers, all with something to protect, and possibly to hide, in particular prospective MP Glenn Cooper (Nick Elliot).

Unfortunately for him much of the scandal is likely to come from the mouth of his wife Cassie (Sonia Lindsey-Scripps). Add in the late appearances of WPC Casey (Elin Massey) and PC Conklin (Alec Scales) and you have an ever-twisting plot, if a bit bonkers, full of fun and laughter.

The show continues at the Quay Theatre from Thursday, November 5, to Saturday November 7, at 7.45pm. Tickets from £8.

IAN PARKER