Paul M Ford
Technical Crew Details:
Reviewed by Peter J Reed for the Surrey Mirror & Coulsdon and Purley Advertiser
Spoof murder mystery panto? The thought may have many theatrical purists quaking in their boots. But for those in the know, Deaf On The Nile came courtesy of Theatre Workshop Coulsdon, who have something of a track record for making the implausible possible, and this was no exception
Skillfully penned by Mark Taylor, who also spent the evening at the piano with his 4-piece guitar and percussion ensemble, this was 2 hours of well-directed, side-splitting entertainment.
With a smartly conceived plot featuring a delightful mixture of dastardly murderers and thieves, fronted by Paul Ford’s Rene-esque Belgian detective, Hercules Toilet and Adrian Martin’s effective panto Dame Eliza Wallop, this whodunnit sat well alongside the plethora of classic one-liners, the inevitable audience participation, not to mention a madcap chase around the pyramids complete with Mummy, Santa Claus and snowman!
This was slapstick at its best, with exacting timing and pin-point delivery with a supporting cast of hilarious characters.
Peter Bird and Dawn Lock made superb cads as the Smythe-Rotters whilst Mike Brown and Fiona Harrison, Duke and Duchess of Mummerset, were perfect upper-class buffoons. Richard Lloyd and Neil Grew provided further Music Hall gaiety as Cheerful Chester Winklepicker and Mr Chuckles, making this a production in which practically anything went.
Musical numbers covering the scene changes, ranging from Putting On The Ritz to Rehab, came in the form of Penny Payne’s amusing Marti Caine styled Madame Fifi de-Boeff and her Academy Girls.
But the jewel of the evening belonged to Adrian Martin for his breathtaking rendition of Nessun Dorma.