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Funny Money

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Review Published in the Eastern Daily Press, 15 February 2008

Funny Money

One of the many strengths of the Maddermarket is the variety of its plays. Ray Cooney’s madcap romp is a highlight of the season. If farce is the comedy of extraordinary things that happen to ordinary people, this is a masterclass in the genre.

We have a full measure of almost believable characters caught in an increasingly ludicrous web of implausible white lies, inventions, distractions and downright absurdities.

Trevor Burton is a wonderfully slightly mad man who finds £735,000 in a suitcase and tries to hang on to it.

His wife (Dawn Brindle) drinks herself into a stupor to cope while their friends (Angela Goymer and Matthew Pinkerton) are in turn helpful and otherwise as they cover up the deceits.

In the Brian Rix School of Fun, it requires fast pace, superb comic timing and a darned good memory.

The excellent police officers (Jo Sessions and David Newham) can’t help compounding the confusion and the line, “let’s leave while we’re reasonably sane,” sums up the feeling in the audience, often helpless with laughter, as the madness takes over.

Director Judi Daykin gets the best from the small stage with lots of doors. The taxi driver (Steve Mears) is pricelessly near-normal and the happy ending rounds it off.

The only farcical ingredient missing is the dropped trousers, but there’s lots going on under a blanket! Thoroughly recommended.

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