16-19 October 2002
of a Comedy - Richard Neal
Christopher Yvonne Henley
Marie Tracey Nicholls
Sonders Paul Dodman
Zangler Dave Williams
Melchior Colin Pile
Gertrude Jan Stevenson
Philippine Vicki Ballard
Madame Knorr Chrissie Neal
Frau Fischer Carolyn Hewitt
Coachman Barry Baynton
German Man Russ Guillaume
Carole Courtenay Coles
Lisette Maria Turner
Alfie Tyson-Brown &
Set Amanda Brown
Company Stage Manager
Lighting & Sound
Russell Parker & Don Sherry / Tivoli Theatre
Theatre Stage Manager
razzle of a comedy
On the Razzle - Wimborne Drama, Tivoli Theatre
ANYONE straying unawares into the Tivoli these past few days might have
been forgiven for thinking the silly season had come early, given the
presence of a talking parrot, a pantomime horse, and a girl playing the
part of a boy.
this was Tom Stoppard's superb comedy, performed to near perfection by
a first-class cast under the excellent direction of Richard Neal.
which follows the events that occur when shop clerks Weinberl (Mark Ellen)
and Christopher (Yvonne Henley) decide to have an illicit afternoon of
freedom in Vienna, is brilliantly written. The Spoonerisms that trip so
easily from shop owner Zangler's mouth are hilarious - and would have
been even more so had Dave Williams blustering delivery not occasionally
muffled his words.
strong characterisations all round, not least from Paul Dodman (Sonders),
Tracey Nicholls (Marie), Jan Stevenson (Gertrude), Colin Pile (Melchior),
Carolyn Hewitt (Frau Fischer), Chrissie Neal (Madame Knorr) and Jan Bursby
(Fraulein Blumenblatt), while Barry Baynton brought the house down as
a wonderfully lascivious whip-wielding coachman.
too for an ingenious set, excellent costumes and fine lighting. A dazzling
razzle, without a doubt.
Linda Kirkman, Daily Echo
Drama is a theatre group that doesn't go for the easy options as their
recent productions such as The Crucible, The Madness of George III and
David Copperfield bear witness.
On the Razzle - based on a 19th century comedy which in turn was drawn
from earlier works - is not, as its title suggests, a simple knock-about
comedy. It is a wordy play, with the comedy coming thick and fast, and
it was easy to miss a gem. In fact, I felt that I ought to have seen it
a second time in order fully to appreciate Tom Stoppard's clever script.
The part of shop owner Zangler, played by Dave Williams, was the toughest,
requiring an ability to get the tongue around Spoonerisms without it appearing
that lines had been misinterpreted or misquoted. Dave Williams did a good
job, but a slower delivery would have ensured that humour wasn't lost.
However, he, along with the rest of the cast, relaxed into their parts
in the second scene.
And talking of scenery, huge credit must go to set designer Amanda Brown,
who masterminded innovative scene changes, which although visible to the
audience, didn't impinge on our enjoyment.
For entertaining it certainly was. The audience clearly appreciated the
humour, although I suspect the appearance of the pantomime horse created
more guffaws than intended, as Yvonne Henley, playing the part of Christopher,
clung on to its hind quarters for dear life.
Wimbome Drama draw from a very experienced pool of actors, and their productions
always throw up some excellent cameo parts. Barry Baynton was delightful
as the coachman, and Jan Stevenson, who has been with the group since
1979, stole a few scenes with her portrayal of the servant Gertrude.
Ayres, Wimborne Community Magazine