Rita Carpenter reviews Move over Mrs Markham, performed at the West Wycombe Village Hall

Any play by Ray Cooney is a sure fire success, always coming with a clever script and very funny lines. The Masque Players made a good choice for their Spring production and presented a great evening of entertainment demonstrating their flair for comedy and timing.

Superbly directed by Lynn Rockell the strong cast made the most of every line and the audience responded with delight. The set, which elicited a ripple of applause as the curtain rose, was very cleverly designed by Martin McDermott and Max Sasim depicting two rooms. One with an oval bed which saw much use throughout the action.

Like many of Cooney’s plays the laughter hinged on the many misunderstandings and disasters caused by the hapless would-be lovers. Playing to a full house, the action romped along nicely.

Stephen Rockell was, as always, superb and his performance occasioned much laughter. Justin Clinch renowned for his comic roles played the artistic designer with style. Megan Boddy was a convincing Mrs Markham and Lucy Churches was excellent as the maid. Stalwart Pearl Chubb gave her usual professional performance with the remaining cast, Max Sasim, Martin McDermott Laura Goodband and Victoria Gomm offering their best to enable the production to run smoothly.

A delicious fish and chip supper was offered during the usual interval and over 20 raffle prizes offering a large variety to be won added to the overall enjoyment. There was also a bar which complimented the meal and proved popular before the performance and during the interval.

The Masque Players are offering an open air production in the summer and a lively pantomime each Christmas. They are an enthusiastic group who give their all for their art. This was a very enjoyable evening and judging by the whoops and applause at the end was very well received by those who attended.

Rita Carpenter.