Out of Order at New Alexandra Theatre

by Julie Wallis twitter.com/Nicenic63

Out of Order at New Alexandra Theatre

Last night #Brumhour sent me to The New Alexandra theatre to see Ray Cooney’s farce Out of Order, which runs all this week until Saturday 15th April.

I took my 12 year old granddaughter and we had a blast, thanks to a very funny show and the usual excellent hospitality of The New Alex.

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Ray Cooney really is a master craftsman when it comes to writing fantastically funny farces and the fabulous cast of actors do a wonderful job, with belly laughs aplenty in this of catalogue of disasters that begins with an MP in a hotel for a night of passion with a Westminster secretary. A ‘dead’ body is found in their hotel suite and the errant MP has to get rid of the corpse. Of course, nothing works out as it should and chaotic scenes ensure you too will leave with your sides aching from laughter. I left with my eye make up running down my face. This is side achingly funny farce at its best.

Jeff Harmer played philandering MP Dick Willey for last nights production, as sadly Andrew Hall was unavailable. Jeff was a convincing MP and cheating husband with perfect comedy timing. The timing, it’s all about the timing in farce and there were times when my granddaughter and I gasped out loud as a sash window crashed onto a poor unsuspecting victim before dissolving into helpless laughter.

True to the storyline of all good British farces, hotel manager Arthur Bostrom did end up with his trousers around his ankles, Jane Worthington, Susie Amy, did spend most of her time on stage in her lingerie and George Pigden, Shaun Williamson was fantastically funny as ever.

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With the unexpected arrival of Dick Willey’s wife Pamela Sue Holderness and Janes husband Ronnie Raphael Bar who is dressed in a bath towel which gets caught on the door handle to give us a flash of his bare bottom and hotel waiter James Holmes a waiter that makes Manuel from Fawlty Towers look slick the laughs just keep coming.

This is all set in the once location, Dicks hotel suite, with three doors and a very busy window, but that is all that is needed when the standard of writing is just so perfectly funny and the actors really do bring their characters to life, even in the most bizarre of circumstances. So my granddaughter and I left reality outside and just let the silliness wash over us. We laughed until it hurt, as did everyone around us.

For me, the stand out scene was with Shaun Williamson when he was working the corpse David Warwick like a ventriloquist, Shaun is a great comedy actor and he really did have me in stitches with this very funny and perfectly timed act.

Sometimes a bit of light hearted silliness is just what is needed, if you find yourself in need of a guaranteed laugh, or indeed an evening of laughs, then you could do no better than to see Ray Cooney’s Out Of Order. By far the funniest night out I’ve had this year.

My 12 year old granddaughter also enjoyed her first ever farce and although there were a couple of scenes where the joke went over her head, for the majority of the evening she too laughed out loud or clasped her head in dismay. She also declared Out Of Order to be “sic” apparently that’s youth speak for really good. I highly recommend you see this star studded cast , if laughter is good for the soul then seeing Out of Order is like a spa weekend for the soul.

Out of Order is at the New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 15th April book tickets here: atgtickets.com/shows/out-of-order/new-alexandra-theatre-birmingham/


Julie was invited to see Out of Order on behalf of #BrumHour by New Alexandra Theatre. She clearly likes a farce!

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