Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Move Over, Mrs. Markham"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"Move Over, Mrs. Markham"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Granite Theatre's current show is the zany farce "Move Over, Mrs. Markham". Philip Markham, a publisher of children's books, is asked by his business partner, Henry Lodge, if he can borrow his flat to gallivant with his latest girlfriend. Philip and his wife will be out for the evening and he reluctantly agrees. At the same time, Joanna Markham is being persuaded by Linda Lodge to let her borrow the empty flat to entertain her lover. With some misgivings, Joanna agrees. What nobody knows is that the interior designer who has been decorating the flat for the past three months has decided that this is the night that he and Slyvie, the au pair girl will try out the new oval bed. When the Markhams' evening out is canceled, it is too late to let any of the parties know and three sets of hopeful lovers converge on the bedroom at the same time. The situation is further complicated by the arrival of Olive Harriet Smythe, a straight-laced authoress of children's books. The frantic efforts of the Markhams to hide the amorous goings-on and, at the same time sign up Miss Smythe, lead the audience on a madcap romp of an evening of laughter and merriment to follow.

David Jepson does double duty in the show as the director and leading actor, Philip Markham. He chooses the best people for these roles and elicits wonderful performances from them. David also created the colorful set for the show with an oval bed that is hilarious to behold. His portrayal of the laid back publisher who becomes a frantic and constantly moving jealous husband is excellent especially the scene where he pretends to be a wacky butler who puts the underwear of one of the women thru the slats on the bedroom doorway which is a sight to behold. David's wife, Beth tackles the huge role of the sexy Joanna who still wants to have sex with her husband after 15 years of marriage. Through a series of misunderstandings, his jealousy almost sends her into the arms of another man. Beth's winning portrayal of this befuddled wife who must constantly cover the tracks of the craziness around her, is well done. Henry and Linda Lodge, the cheating husband and wife are played by Ian Ramsden and Christine Reynolds. Their machinations as this crazy couple are wonderfully done and their conniving ways must be witnessed to be believed. Playing the frenetic decorator, Alistair Spenlow is Keith Brayne, an adept comedian, with wacky facial expressions and expert one liner delivery. The sexy and statuesque Heidi Beckmann plays Sylvie, the au pair girl who is constantly being goosed by Alistair. Heidi who currently returned to RI for the summer after a stint with Disney, is headed back to NY to pursue a goal becoming a professional actress. (Heidi graduated from URI in 2003 and I witnessed her doing several excellent performances there as a student.) The prudish and snooty Miss Smythe is perfectly played by Mary Sue Chiaradio. The authoress writes books about dogs and her lines about them and how people should not be involved with sex are very humorous. Frank Pendola plays the nebbish Walter who is madly in love with Linda while Lisa Clough, a sexy red head plays Miss Wilkinson, Mr. Lodge scantily clad telephone operator. David is helped out by hard working stage manager, Morgan Ban Draoi who keeps things running smoothly while the lights and sound are by Kate Luce. So for an evening of a merry British farce, be sure to catch "Move Over, Mrs. Markham before time runs out.

"Move Over, Mrs. Markham" (7 July - 6 August)
THE GRANITE THEATRE
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY R I
1 (401) 596-2341

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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