A Rise In The Market
14 November 2011
Sir Clive Partridge hopes to be president of the European Community, but he needs the support of puritanical elder statesman Jacques Berri. So it's bad news for Partridge when Berri calls on a day that he is trapped in a luxurious Paris flat where he is beset by glamorous young women he can't account for, plus an angry wife and an exploding boiler.
Well no wonder the UK and European Government's, are all over the place with bureaucrats like Partridge, having a stake in it all. The bungling and the deceit of the hopeful president (very well played by David Cooke) was at such a magnitude that he could quite easily have brought down a small country!
Simon Prout (played by guesting actor Dan Hawdon) was Partridge's Embassy executive, trying to get everything in ship shape order for the meetings, the wining and the dining, for the movers and the shakers of the commerce. Of course in true British farce terms, nothing went as planned, with hilarious results.
The comings and the goings of the hierarchy, got off to a bad start with lost luggage at the airport, so some very funny costume changes were in order for our two leading men.
Of course somebody had to take the blame, this was down to Ernest Kibble (Allen Howes) who took a verbal kicking from Partridge, whenever he could take his mind away from the well stocked bar in the flat.
The flat itself wasn't what it was supposed to be, a mistake on Prouts' behalf, sent our president-to-be in spirals of confusion. This along with the seedy side of Partridge, kept the audience in fits of laughter.
The introduction of sexy Astrid, a translator with the Common Market Commission (fantastically played by Westovians regular, Rachael Ward) kept Partridge on his toes, with the bedroom and the balcony of the flat getting some great comedy usage. She certainly knew how to press his buttons, with her ways!
The wife of our anti-hero, Lady Partridge (Beryl Henderson), flew in late, and flew into the confusion with both feet, not knowing who, what or why, she took upon the bar too with great gusto.
The flat's owner Louise Muller (played by the newest member of the society, Sofi-Paige Vella) was also caught up with the antics of the the assemble, with mistaken identity, she dished out some slapstick violence to steady her status.
Finally the outgoing president, a very gracious and trustworthy man Jacques Berri (Bill Marsden) came to show his support for Partridge, but in the time honoured fashion of the farce, was caught up, like leaves on a windy day, in the whole crazyness of it.
Director Gareth Hunter and his crew (Amy Harris- producer, Ian Johnson-lights and Michael Ferry- set design) have done a great job of creating Edward Taylor's play, bringing the best out of the cast. Some great acting and fast witty dialogue, made this a great night.
Whenever you see Cameron and his sidekicks on a tour, or heading for a meeting in Brussels, just give one thought for what they might be up to behind closed doors, A Rise in The Market, could be, and probably is very straight from the horses mouth.
A Rise In The Market plays until Saturday.