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Why Me?: June 1996

By Stanley Price

'Why Me?' programme cover

Newspaper Review

Shafts of brilliant script fail to light up tarnished comedy.

Why me? The name of the play and the plea of the reviewer.

A black comedy. Some shafts of brilliant witty script. But mostly set in a grey sea of patchy production and performance.

When the comedy by Stanley Price was on song between the six-strong cast it fizzed with quickfire humour and satirical observation drawn from a potentially unfunny plot of a businessman's plight after losing his job.

But those jewels were too far apart in a tarnished chain of missed cues and forgotten lines.

Credit to Susan Knights, whose cameo role as the dotty mother-in-law was as delightful as some of her down-to-earth comments on the chaos unravelling around her mundane world of radio phone-ins.

Kees Van Woerkrom wrings a blend of Victor Meldrew and Tony Hancock from the main role as redundant engineer John Bailey.

The action revolves around his difficult relationship with a successful businesswoman wife (Sally Strong) and affair with bored housewife neighbour (Bernice Escott).

Richard Batson


Scroll down for photos.

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Cast Backstage
John Bailey: Kees Van Woerkom Producer: Joan Spall
Mary Ferguson: Susan Knights Stage Manager: Gerry Francis
Helen Bailey: Sally Strong Props: Paul Cunliffe, Ann Cunliffe
Gwen Hollis: Bernice Escott Prompt: Peggy Francis
Artur Hollis: Tim Travers  
Tom Bailey: Richard Fish  
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