chase is on again
By Ruhanie Perera
Laughter, food and incessant chatter well ensconced in
the general feeling of bonhomie, so
no one can take offence - and no one does. More jokes, jibes coming
in at lightning speed, "Open the sauce, men", "Do
you remember when...15 years ago" and "Did someone mention
false eyelashes?" The general atmosphere is one of absolute
chaos, with the cast members of Run for Your Wife revelling in sheer
madness. This is before they get onstage. Onstage, I'm told, lines
fly at a hectic pace and the sequence of events is rather chaotic.
taxi driver John Smith (Mohammed Adamally) who is described as a
very ordinary guy. Yep, he's just your average, regular, commonplace
guy - except, of course, he's married to two women. One the caring
Mary (Wanda Godlieb) and the other the sultry Barbara (Neidra Williams),
each contributing in their own, characteristic way to heighten the
mayhem, which occurs the fateful day everything goes wrong and John
is in danger of being found out. And that's just the beginning!
Devasagayam and Johann Peries as the detectives on the 'cabbie case'
and Sean Amarasekera as Stanley Gardner, who quite by chance gets
mixed up in the mess and goes from 'guy in the apartment upstairs
just trying to help' to a host of other identities as each new challenge
crops up. Then there's Feroze Kamardeen's 30-second guest appearance,
as the news-hungry reporter, which he claims, leaves both the course
of events and the lives of the people involved, forever changed.
(Oh, that it does.)
more - just when you think life couldn't get more complicated for
poor Mr. Smith, in walks (or should I say waltzes) Bobby Franklin
(Jerome de Silva) the gay neighbour...need I say more.
Ray Cooney, the side-splitting comedy Run for Your Wife is back
after eight years. And the reason for this: "A Pact".
"Yes, a pact," grins Adamally, "we just had so much
fun doing it the first time (in 1994) that we promised ourselves
we'd revive it in six years." Strange? Yes, even corny - but
true. Come 2000, however, it seemed too soon and so eight years
later (with many requests from theatre goers backing the decision)
most of the original cast of the Performing Arts Company's maiden
hit, with some new additions, take the stage to do what they do
best - keep audiences in stitches.
experienced actors, there's bound to be lots of individual contributions
coming in. But, as this cast proves, a number of talented individuals
coming together only to end up with not so successful results ...are
only for cooks (with particular regard for soup). Says director
Nafeesa Amiruddeen: "The cast is experienced and that makes
it such a pleasure to direct, as they bring in so much to the play."
She is quite content to let them take over, coming in only to put
the entire picture together. "They tackle their roles very
professionally," she says. "Although in a farce there
is very little room for characterization. What with the stereotypes
bordering on caricatures, I see them adding a lot of depth to the
characters, making each situation as 'real' as can be, given the
As for the
actors: "I feel we're a lot more mature," says Adamally,
"We're eight years older and I feel that's what gives that
kind of maturity to the play. The characters are coming out a lot
stronger than before." In addition to that, the actors have,
over the years, developed (if not perfected) a particular acting
style, which is a contributing factor to the overall panache this
performance seems to promise. Says Neidra Williams, "It helps
that we've acted together before. We know how to play up to the
strengths of the people we act with, so the pieces of the jigsaw
fit in a lot better and that helps."
in seeing this completed jigsaw? Produced by the Performing Arts
Company, Run for Your Wife will be on at the Lionel Wendt from August
15 - 18 and from August 23-25. The principal sponsor for the show
is Commercial Bank with Sinwa, Dialog and Yes FM coming in as co-sponsors.