Dead Funny: Whitstable Times Review
“…A superb performance by the Players … a funny play with a few dark suprises”
Original Article by Scarlet Jones, Whitstable Times – Thursday 21 November 2013
Humour can be a funny thing – literally – and the latest production by the Lindley Players looks at the way it is used, with some great results.
Terry Johnson’s Dead Funny is a dark comedy set in 1992 during the week comedian Benny Hill dies. It follows just five characters.
Richard, Nick, Lisa and Brian are obsessed with the old school English comedians like Benny Hill, Morecombe and Wise, and Frankie Howerd. While they spend their time quoting comedy routines, the real humour comes from the wisecracking main character Eleanor who ironically doesn’t find any of it funny.
Broody Eleanor is in pieces trying to find a solution to her crumbling marriage to the immature Richard, but he seems more interested in organising a tribute night to Benny Hill and the whole tragic situation reaches boiling point.
As the only character with natural, acerbic wit, it’s a role which needs perfect timing and delivery which Rebecca Strike manages as easily as her character Eleanor manages to pour herself another drink (there are many of those).
But don’t believe for a second that Richard (played by Chris Coates), Nick (Steve Scales), Lisa (Pippa Smith) and Brian (Peter Bressington) have got easier roles. Their comic-obsessed banter involves ducking in and out of impressions and routines as smoothly as any delivered by Morecombe and Wise.
Directed by Peter Hunt, the play comes with a warning of adult themes and strong language. But like the theme of the play itself, it all comes down to context. Yes there is a completely naked man on stage at one point, but it was just another great example of how you can still find humour in the more difficult moments in life.
It was a superb performance by the Players and this is a funny play with a few dark surprises along the way. Fantastic stuff.
Running daily, the last performance will be on Saturday, November 23, so get your tickets while you can.
Hear what the audience have been saying on Facebook and Twitter:
“Loved ‘Dead Funny’ well done all – you were fab”
“Well that was “dead funny” x absolutely brilliant guys x well done”
“Congrats to Peter Hunt and the cast and crew, the play was fab-u-lous!”
“Really fantastic tonight! I laughed lots and cried, everyone needs to go!! Well done to everyone involved”
“Great show guys!”
“I saw the opening night show and I loved every minute of it! Really well done to everyone, the whole cast are amazing and made the entire play believably realistic and hilarious. If anyone isnt sure whether they are coming to see it or not… I urge you to get yourself a ticket for a slice of that brilliant entertainment!”
Dead Funny at the Playhouse Theatre Whitstable
November 19 to 23, 7.45pm
Box Office 01227 272042 or visit www.playhousewhitstable.co.uk