Ray Cooney and John Chapman
Where and When
11th – 13th April 1991 @ The Allendale Centre, Wimborne
Philip Markham, a publisher of children’s books, is asked by his business partner, Henry Lodge, if he can borrow the flat for the evening to gallivant with his latest girlfriend. As Philip and his wife will be out, he reluctantly agrees. At the same time, Joanna Markham is being persuaded by Linda Lodge to let her borrow the empty flat in order 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 the au pair girl will try out the new oval bed. When the Markhams’ evening out is cancelled, it is too late to let any of the parties know and three sets of hopeful lovers all converge on the bedroom at the same time. The situation is further complicated by the arrival of Olive Harriet Smythe, a straightlaced 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 to a hectic and hilarious evening.
- Joanna Markham – Barbara Hurst
- Alistair Spenlow – Tony Feltham
- Sylvie – Louisa Elliot
- Linda Lodge – Caroline Harrison
- Philip Markham – Jim Ruegg
- Henry Lodge – Paul Hewitt
- Walter Pangbourne – Howard Lovejoy
- Olive Harriet Smythe – Margaret Pope
- Miss Wilkinson – Carolyn Woodward
- Director – Enid Davies
- Stage Manager – Joe Brroks
- ASM – Dave Gordon
- Set Design – Julie Feltham
- Lighting – Chris Richards
- Lighting Assistant – Kim Maycock
- Prompt – Jan Stevenson
- Properties – Amanda Selway
- Sound – Kim Maycock
- Wardrobe – Carolyn Woodward
- Dresser – Joanna Booth
- Front of House – David Green and Joyce Eidmans
- Poster Design – Peter Hewitt
- Publicity – Jan Stevenson
Curtain rises on club’s bedroom farce
As soon as the curtain rose it was obvious the stage was set for some high jinks. A third of the set was a dimly-lit, seductively furnished bedroom. Wimborne Drama Club certainly made the most of Move Over Mrs Markham, a wonderfully funny play by Ray Cooney and John Chapman and delighted audiences of every performance at the Allendale Centre.
As is usual with farce, the plot was basically simple but with complicated twists of mistaken identities, misunderstood situations and lost clothing. The story concerns two partners in a publishing company, Philip Markham and Henry Lodge, and their wives, the action taking place in the Markham’s apartment. Various people wish to use the place for romantic meetings and things get more confusing when a jolly-hockeysticks lady writer turns up and thinks everyone is someone else.
The cast contained no weak links bu t the largest bouquet must go to Tony Feltham as the limp-wristed interior designer with surprisingly masculine tendencies. His sense of timing was superb and he is certainly one of the club’s more versatile members.
Barbara Hurst and Jim Ruegg as the Markhams and Caroline Harrison and Paul Hewitt as the Lodges revelled in the witty and often hilarious script and Louisa Elliot as the au pair enjoyed herself in more ways than one. Howard Lovejoy, Margaret Pope and Carolyn Woodward filled the smaller roles but each played a great part in the play’s success.
The evening was one big laugh from beginning to end and at least one lady in the Thursday audience was on the verge of hysterics.