The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
June 15, 16, 17 & 18, 2016.
No Sex Please, We’re British
by Alistair Foot & Anthony Marriott
Matt Mulvay – Peter Hunter
Andrea Jones – Frances Hunter
Pam Luxton – Eleanor Hunter
Mark Best – Brian Runnicles
John Pounder – Leslie Bromhead
Peter Joyce – Superintendent Vernon Paul
John Garland – Mr Needham
Jennie Duval – Susan
Katie Marshall – Barbara
John Garland – Delivery Man
Stage Manager – Dave Comber
Deputy Stage Manager – Julian Batstone
Hatch Operation & Production Assistant – Graham Till
Lighting Design – Martin Oakley
Lighting Operator – Bernadette Ward
Sound Design – Bob Ryder
Sound Operation – Brian Jones
Wardrobe – Maggi Pierce
Wardrobe – Cherry Fraser
Properties & Set Dressing – Anita Shipton
Properties & Set Dressing – Di Tidzer
Set Construction & Painting – Nigel Goldfinch
Set Construction & Painting – Carl Gray
Set Construction & Painting – David Comber
Set Construction & Painting – Dave Collis
Set Construction & Painting – Sue Chaplin
Set Construction & Painting – Sheila Neesham
Set Construction & Painting – Margaret Davy
Set Construction & Painting – Gary Walker
Poster Design – Richard Joyce
Publicity – Peter Joyce
Publicity – Maggi Pierce
Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Publicity – Judith Berrill
Front of House – Betty Dawes
Programme Note #1: No Sex Please, We’re British
CW wrote: ” The best part of directing No Sex Please We’re British was that five new members have been recruited for Wick Theatre Comoany! They have come from Brighton, as far afield as Thakenham and three actors have slipped across the carpark from Southwick Opera and kindly agreed not to sing a note!
A huge vote of thanks to all the actors for their time, patience and infectious enthusiasm without which, under some difficult circumstances, this play might not have reached the Barn Stage.
Thanks to all the dedicated workshop and backstage teams who have created a wonderful set.
I hope all their hard work will result in an enjoyable evening for everybody ”
Publicity #1: No Sex Please, We’re British
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: June 9 2016 issue – page 32
Correspondent: Susie Lunt
Text Header: “‘Good clean summer fun’ is set to hit the Wick Theatre”
The hugely popular farce hit of the 1970s is coming to Southwick this June. Full of high-voltage fun, performances of No Sex Please – We’re British are running from Wednesday June 15 until Saturday June 18 at the Barn Theatre, Southwick.
“This play is fast, funny, easy to watch,” said Wick Theatre Company member Caroline Woodley, who is directing the summer show. “Doors slam, loos flush, trousers drop, innuendos positively rain down from the stage – all decidedly non-intellectual and good clean fun!”
The best-selling farce by Alistair Foot and Anthony Marriott concerns innocent newly-wed couple Peter and Frances Hunter. Mysteriously receiving a growing flood of pornographic literature through the post, the unlucky pair become inextricably entangled in a series of hilarious events that rely on innuendo throughout.
The play premiered in London’s West End in 1971 and holds the record for the longest-running English comedy, with 6,761 performances played at full houses until 1987. By the time the play ended its run, an American tourist once told a reporter. ‘leaving London without seeing it would be like missing the Trafalgar Square or Buckingham Palace. ‘
“I am delighted to be working with some great actors, ” Ms Woodley said. “Several of my cast are new to Wick, although experienced stage actors.” Fresh faces amongst the team of eight include Matt Mulvay and Andrea Jones, who portray the hapless newly-weds. Meanwhile, the part of the famously put upon bank clerk, Runnicles, originally created by Michael Crawford, is being played by Mark Best. A veteran of many iconic rôles, he recently delighted Wick audiences in The Ladykillers as loveable bank thief ‘Arry Robinson.
Having received outstanding reviews for her performance as Meg in Wick’s last production, The Birthday Party, Pam Luxton has an opportunity to show her versatility as an actor as she takes on the part of the indomitable Eleanor.
Performances run from Wednesday June 15 until Saturday June 18, and start at 7.45pm. Tickets cost £11 from the Box Office on 01273 597094 or via the Barn theatre website at www.wicktheatre.co.uk
Review #1: No Sex Please, We’re British
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: June 23 2016 issue – page 8
Reviewer: Elaine Hammond
Text Header: “Farce made funnier by mishaps on stage”
Mishaps added to the hilarity in Wick Theatre’s latest production, No Sex Please We’re British. In fact a phone falling of the wall got the biggest laugh at The Barn Theatre, Southwick, on Friday night. It was good to see how well the cast handled the accident, with Andrea Jones as Frances making a valiant effort to hide her own laughter, very sensibly moving so she had her back to the audience, and later pointedly holding the phone on will for her call to ensure it didn’t happen again.
The phone did feature rather a lot in this popular 1970s farce, so it was just as well it pretty much stayed put after that little episode. The audience certainly seemed to enjoy it all and there were times when almost the entire crowd burst into spontaneous laughed simultaneously. But while there were moments of brilliance, there were also an unusual number of slip-ups in the lines on Friday night, meaning some of the funnier parts were fumbled and rather spoiled.
Mark Best was outstanding as Brian, who gets closer and closer to breaking point as the madness of the play about an unwanted deliver of risqué photos goes on. His final flopping backwards over the sofa almost made everyone jump! John Garland gave an assured performance as Mr Needham and the scene where he has to drop his trousers was handled well.
It was also nice to see quite a number of new faces on the Wick stage.
The set was excellent and stood up to the endless opening and closing of innumerable doors and a hatch with a mind of its own.
It’s really a very silly play and probably a bit dated now but Wick played up to it and the Benny Hill style runaround was great fun. The play still holds the record as the longest running English farce and I have to say most seemed to like it but for me, it was just a bit too long.
Review #2: No Sex Please, We’re British
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: June 17 2016
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
This 1971 farce dominated the West End for 16 years, Wick Theatre Company having dusted it off show that the piece still sparkles – thanks to some excellent performances.
Farce may be crude comedy but it requires precision timing from its actors and strong direction that ensures sustained pace. In this production both elements are more than satisfactorily achieved.
A simple storyline, of a wife ordering Swedish china and glassware and then being inundated with pornography instead, develops into a farcical chain of events. All the action takes place in a flat above a bank and involves both staff and officials. The ensuing mayhem has the audience chortling throughout.
The whole cast work hard with Matt Mulvay and Andrea Jones leading the way as the hapless couple at the centre of the maelstrom. Pam Luxton has a whale of a time as the mother-in-law from hell while John Garland lets his hair and pyjama bottoms down as a much-abused bank inspector.
But all the performances are overshadowed by Mark Best, the innocent patsy who becomes embroiled and carries the can for each unfolding disaster. His performance demonstrates that he is a comic genius when it comes to expressing hysterical outrage.
Review #3: No Sex Please, We’re British
Publication: N.O.D.A – National Operatic and Dramatic Association
Publication Data: June 16 2016
Reviewer: Lance Milton – Regional representative for South East Region District 1 – Mid Sussex
It’s always a pleasure to attend and review productions for the Wick theatre company as you know that you are in for a great night. However, with a title as renowned and prolific as No Sex Please, We’re British, which still holds many records for length of run and popularity among great British farces, one could be forgiven for being a little apprehensive of any group pulling off something contemporary; but that is just what the Wick managed.
Very often the tried and tested is the safe play but here director Caroline Woodley seems to have allowed her cast to add a slightly more current lilt gently bringing the piece a little more up to date without detraction from the writers; Foot & Marriott, intent.
Matt Mulvay and Andrea Jones were convincing as the newlywed Hunters and Pam Luxton perfectly delivered the interfering mother particularly in her chemistry with John Pounder and the flirtatious bank manager Leslie Bromhead. Peter Joyce was a believable inspector Vernon Paul with great timing on some tricky entrances. John Garland was an incredibly brave Mr Needham baring all when his pyjamas fell down and baring only marginally less Jennie Duval and Katie Marshall were great fun as the ladies of the night Susan and Barbara.
However, as the star vehicle in the professional productions and undoubtedly the biggest gift of a part in the writing, Mark Best delivered a stand out performance as the hilarious Brian Runnicles. It was a delight to see him take the part and make it unique to himself, resisting the urge to offer a caricature of Michael Crawford, David Jason or Ronnie Corbett, who have all played it.
The set was simple but effective and this was true of the technical support overall too.
Once again this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening of entertainment from a group who are committed to delivering great value regional theatre.