Laughs in no short measures

MHDE'See How They Run
MHDE'See How They Run

See How They Run - Belgrade Theatre, Coventry - Review by Amanda Chalmers

There are farcical goings-on at Merton-cum-Middlewick vicarage.

What happens when a vicar goes away, leaving his ex-actress wife to entertain a former colleague who has to dress up in her husband’s clothes, and they’re spotted by a nosy parishioner who reads too much into what she sees?

And when the wife’s uncle, a bishop, mistakes the colleague for her husband, and an escaped prisoner breaks into the house and also dresses up as a reverend, will the real vicar be able to disentagle fact from farce on his return?

This wonderfully funny and much-loved farce is brought to life on stage once again - this time courtesy of The Reduced Height Theatre Company.

It still features hilarious comic situations involving mistaken identity, doors and vicars but the comedy is ‘heightened’ by the fact that the cast are all under four foot!

Arguably one of Britain’s best loved comedies, Philip King’s See How They Run premiered in London in 1945 offering something of a tonic to theatregoers at the tail end of the Second World War. And it’s still as funny today.

Rachel Denning as the unconventional parson’s wife Penelope is a delight and shows precision comic timing and an impeccably dry delivery throughout.

A suitably pompous Francesca Papagno is perfectly ludicrous as the buxom Miss Skillon and, for me, driving force of the whole show is Francesca Mills, whose portrayal of cheeky maid Ida is simply comic perfection. This girl is a real talent.

Well known actor Warwick Davis acquits himself adequately as a vaguely distracted Reverend Lionel Toop, given a run for his money by no less than four other clerics, including Jamie John as Humphrey, Jon Key as the Bishop and Phil Holden as the pragmatic Lance Corporal Clive Winton. See How They Run plays until Saturday.