The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
March 28, 29, 30 & 31, 2012.
Caught in the Net
by Ray Cooney
Bob Ryder – John Smith [a Taxi Driver]
Gill Medway – Barbara Smith [Wife]
Judith Berrill – Mary Smith [Wife]
Ben Cassan – Gavin Smith [Son]
Claire Harding – Vicki Smith [Daughter]
Mark Best – Stanley Gardner [The Lodger]
H. Reeves – Stanley’s Dad
Assistant to Director – Zoey Attree
Stage Manager – Martin Oakley
Assistant Stage Manager – Zoey Attree
Deputy Stage Manager – Hem Cleveland
Lighting Design – Jordan Harvey
Lighting Operator – Andrew Cleveland
Sound Operator – Jack Hudson
Properties – Margaret Davy
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Wardrobe – Cherry Briggs
Wardrobe – Margaret Pierce
Wardrobe – Zoey Attree
Set Construction & Painting – Sue Chaplin
Set Construction & Painting – David Collis
Set Construction & Painting – David Comber
Set Construction & Painting – Sheila Neesham
Set Construction & Painting – Martin Oakley
Poster Design – Judith Berrill
Publicity – Anna Quick
Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Front of House – Betty Dawes
Programme Note #1: Caught in the Net
JG wrote: “In December 1994, Wick Theatre Company presented Run For Your Wife, considered by many to be Ray Cooney’s greatest play. I never saw the show, having not joined the company until a few months later (and sadly there is no review yet registered in our archive), but those who did see it tell me it was a wonderful production. Consequently, when we discovered that there was a sequel set 18 years later, we decided it would be ideal for our 2012 season.
Having directed Not Now Darling 4 years ago. I am surprised (but very happy) to be once more at the helm of a farce – I always thought of my self as a director of ‘serious’ plays, but thus is my fourth consecutive comedy. For those who know their Cooney there will be no surprises in the basis of the plot, but the cleverness of the writing never ceases to amaze me. This is also an incredible amount of physical comedy, and indeed I believe it to be an overall better play than the original.
I am very grateful to the cast for the many hours they have spent rehearsing in cold rooms, and to my backstage team, especially Zoey Attree who has been a most helpful assistant, for all they have done to produce what I hope will be a worthy sequel to the 1994 production.
Publicity #1: Caught in the Net
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: March 15 2012
Text Header: THEATRE PREVIEW : Caught in the Net in Southwick
A TWO-timing taxi driver’s farcical attempts to keep his double life a secret will feature in an upcoming performance of Caught in the Net. Directed by John Garland, Wick Theatre Company’s latest production tells the story of two-timing taxi driver, John Smith, who revels in his dual-shift, double-wife lifestyle. John is supported in his ruse by friend and lodger, Stanley. The only problem is, he now has a son and a daughter, one from each wife. The teenagers have never met each other, nor do they know of each other’s existence, yet a crisis looms, courtesy of the internet.
Having found each other in an online chatroom, and discovering they have plenty in common, the brother and sister arrange to meet, leaving John and Stanley to pull out all the stops to prevent their encounter. Written in 2001, this is the sequel to the Cooney classic, Run for Your Wife. Set 18 years after the original, and being performed 18 years after Wick Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed production of Run for Your Wife, this production offers audiences the chance to catch up with John’s antics. Bob Ryder will once again appear as John Smith, with Judith Berrill changing roles to a different wife. Also appearing are Mark Best and “H” Reeves, as Stanley and Dad, respectively, Gill Medway and Ben Cassan. Caught in the Net also features Young Wick member, Claire Harding, in her first major role in an adult Wick production.
Caught in the Net, by Ray Cooney, will be performed at The Barn theatre, in Southwick Street, Southwick, at 7.45pm, from Wednesday, March 28, to Saturday, March 31, inclusive. Tickets, priced £10, are available by visiting www.wicktheatre.co.uk or calling the box office on 01273 597094.
Review #1: Caught in the Net
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Reviewer: Amanda Barrell
A farcical combination of intricate deception and barefaced lies made for an evening of bellyaching laughter.
Ray Cooney’s Caught in the Net was the latest offering fro the Wick Theatre Company, running at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, from Wednesday to Saturday last week. Taking our seats, I have to admit I was dubious; how could a play based on a bigamist who had been cheating on the mothers of his children for nigh on 20 years be funny?
But as the story unfurled, it was clear the sidesplitting [sic] humour lay with Stanley Gardner, the best friend and lodger of said philanderer, John Smith [Bob Ryder]. Mark Best took on the rôle of the hapless friend, tasked with keeping John’s two children, by two different wives, apart after they meet online.
H. Reeves became Stanley’s dad, prompting hilarity through a triumph of physical comedy every time he appeared on stage.
Timing was everything in the fast-paced Caught in the Net, especially as the entire story descended into chaos, and the cast, which included Claire Harding and Ben Cassan as the siblings at the centre of the storm, Gavin and Vicky Smith, rose to the challenge fantastically.
John Garland, director and chairman of the company, said the play was a sequel to Cooney’s Run for your Wife, performed by Wick in 1994, and set 18 years after the original. “For those who know their Cooney, there will be no surprises in the basis of the plot, but the cleverness of the writing never ceases to amaze me,” he said in his director’s note.
Review #2: Caught in the Net
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
Caught in the Net is the follow-up to Ray Cooney’s hilarious Run for your Wife in which John Smith managed to juggle two wives and two homes – a situation much fraught with complications and mayhem. Both continue in this play, set 18 years later, as Smith’s son and daughter by different wives, discover each other through a chat room and agree to meet.
The slender plot revolves around the efforts of Smith and best friend Stanley to keep the young couple apart. Their excuses, fabrications and antics come thick and fast as each attempt gets out of hand. All the usual elements of farce are there – multiple doors, misunderstandings, mistaken identities and, of course, the hapless, innocent friend caught up in the misdeeds of another.
Director John Garland has drilled his cast well and ensures the pace never flags. There is a split set allowing action to be seen in both homes – often simultaneously.
Bob Ryder as Smith leads as talented cast who work hard to maximise the humour with Mark Best’s portrayal of Stanley almost stealing the show. It is an exhausting performance that produces an abundance of physical comedy.
There are magic moments from Judith Berrill as the long-suffering Mary, wielding a knife and threatening to emasculate Stanley and, of course, from that notorious scene stealer, H Reeves as Stanley’s batty father.
Review #3: Caught in the Net
Publication: N.O.D.A – National Operatic and Dramatic Association
Reviewer: Phillip Hall – Regional representative for South East Region District 1 – Mid Sussex
If there is one thing Wick Theatre Company can do as well as any Company it is to find a good comedy and then perform it for all they are worth. This was a remarkably good performance with the audience seldom having the opportunity to draw breath between bouts of laughter. A common cause of complaint is that a cast will continue with the dialogue through the audience laughter. In this performance the cast had no option. With continuous laughter there was no opportunity to pause!
The plot was beautifully set by the two mothers and their offspring at the opening. From the very start, these four Gill Medway, Judith Berrill, Ben Cassan and Claire Harding kept the storyline flowing while the remaining three delivered mayhem.
Bob Ryder as John Smith, a taxi driver with no way to turn, was remarkably good in his confusion and desperation. His lodger, played by Mark Best, was a hapless soul in a constant state of confusion and despair. Mark gave an astonishing performance which may well have fulfilled Ray Cooney’s intentions in every respect. H Reeves was the perfect caricature of an eccentric, unpredictable old man. What a delightful performances these three men gave.
The entire cast are to be congratulated on their mastery off the set. With innumerable entrances and exits to be made using a confusion of routes, who was to know if a mistake was ever made? Only the cast and Director can know.
“John Garland must be congratulated on a most successful production. Action all the way presented on an ideal set with a remarkably able cast”