Review of King’s Company’s production of ‘Black Comedy’ in the Hayward Theatre on November the 6th 2013

King’s Company’s production of ‘Black Comedy’, a farce by Peter Shaffer, was highly entertaining on the first of three nights’ performances in the Hayward Theatre. Under the Directorship of Adella Charlton and Nicholas Limm, these talented performers never missed a trick. The carefully choreographed actions had the audience in stitches as Brinsley Miller, a poor sculptor, suffered every imaginable mishap while he and his fiancée waited for the very wealthy Georgia Bamberger to rescue him from his poverty and buy his work.

The whole play pivoted on a reversal of situation, character and plot. It was a little disconcerting when the actors began the first scene in complete darkness. We realized, eventually, that this in itself was a reversal so that when stage lights were on – the actors acted as though they were in complete darkness. Some of the antics were absolutely hilarious as the characters interacted without knowing for certain who they were interacting with.

Charlie O’Connor as Brinsley Miller was excellent. The sense of panic he conveyed as his world collapsed around him was phenomenal. Fiona Campbell developed the nervous, tea-totaller Miss Furnival into a highly amusing, over intoxicated neighbour that finally disported herself around the stage in magnificent abandonment. Danny Hayes as Harrold Gorringe was one of the most colourful characters, his camp exuberance and amazing gestures and facial expressions were positively delightful. Emily Braybrooke as Clea, was a wonderful addition to the events in the dark; she stirred up the plot deliciously and her mischievous playfulness from above was deliciously comical. Lucy Bromwich, as Brinsley’s fiancée Carol Melkett and her Dad Colonel Melkett, played by Matt Ley,  developed a credible father-daughter relationship and Alice Crofts as Shuppanzigh from the London Electricity Board  and Amy Rosenberg as Georgia Bamberger took advantage of their similar accents  to highlight the contrast of their representation of the opposite ends of the social spectrum. The lowly electrician brought light into the characters’ lives, the wealthy art lover ended unceremoniously disappearing into the depths of the cellar as the characters realized where there true hearts lay.

This was an excellent choice of play and a wonderful production making it a highly entertaining evening.

The next production to look forward to is ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ in the Hayward Theatre from the 4th to 7th December 2013. Contact: boxoffice@kingsely.org, tel: 01353 653931

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