Review: There Goes the Bride

Anachronistic British farce with a slap and tickle!

 

The scene is set in the drawing room of a suburban upper middle class home in 1973 on the morning of a society wedding for advertising executive Timothy Westerby’s daughter, Judy (Lauren Thompson). All seems to be going to plan with the usual pre-ceremony preparations until a harassed Timothy (Michael Lawrence) bangs his head on a door after taking his “happy pills” with a G and T chaser. When he comes round he thinks he has been transported to The Savoy Hotel, London in 1926. He is also now accompanied by a young 1920s Flapper girl Polly Perkins (Melanie Pennisi), a character he was to use in an advertising campaign and with whom he instantly falls in love. Unfortunately, for the middle aged Timothy he is actually married to Ursula Westerby (Helen Ekundayo), the Flapper girl is a figment of his head-injured imagination, who no-one else can see, or appreciate.

As time marches on for everyone but Timothy, the wedding cars arrive and chaos ensues. Confusion is further fuelled by the arrival of the Father of the Groom, Charles Babcock (Brad Oliver) a millionaire from Sydney, Australia who does a very convincing Aussie accent!

As in real life, the rest of the family do not help the situation, as while Timothy dances around and canoodles with apparently thin-air, his stressed wife Ursula starts to construct a web of lies to maintain middle-class etiquette, along with her accomplice and friend of the family Bill Shorter (Nathaniel Young).  Judy Westerby’s grandparents, Daphne and Gerald Drimmond are also implicated, played by Jill Brocklebank and Rod Felsch. Gerald stole the show with his genuine comedic rhetoric to turn getting flowers to the church and a missing pair of socks into a massive saga, further confusing all involved. Chaos and confusion accelerate to a climax enhanced by slapstick humour, misunderstandings and the inevitable pratfalls, leaving the audience howling with laughter.

Amidst the chaos a wedding is about to take place leaving the audience wondering if they will ever get to the church on time. There Goes the Bride is an anachronism of good ol’ British humour with a slap and tickle. If you love farcical British comedy you will enjoy this production of There Goes the Bride, directed by Janine Francis and written by the English comedy classic duo Ray Cooney and John Chapman. The audience were laughing so raucously one spilt their drink and another choked on their dentures!

By Dr Gemma Regan

 

There Goes the Bride 

A Centenary Theatre Production, Directed by Janine Francis
Chelmer Community Centre, Brisbane
4th-25th November, 2017