three on wall

Dennis Herdman, left, Mitesh Soni and Thom Tuck. Picture: Manuel Harlan

The Play What I Wrote

Malvern Theatres


After the torrid season of lockdowns, endless testing, tracing and morbid statistics, many want to enjoy something that will help them laugh and temporarily forget the troubles and pressures of our nation and the world. The Play What I Wrote is a great escapist piece of theatre that meets that need brilliantly and hilariously.

Reminiscent of productions by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, a small cast (of three plus the guest appearance), present a very fast-paced, zany, occasionally risqué, show that uses all the tricks in the farcical repertoire to keep the audience in stitches.

Thom and Dennis have been working their way through the theatres of the land with a Morecombe and Wise show, but now Thom wants them to present a new play ‘what he has written’, set in France at the time of the Revolution in 1789. Dennis resists the idea.

Eventually they do present his play, which resembles a Morecambe and Wise sketch anyway, supported by a guest star who adds a great further dimension of comedy, on this occasion Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses and The Green, Green Grass). She has a name which they can manipulate in a dozen or more ways. The presence of a female helps to balance and enrich the team and the show.

Dennis Herdman and Thom Tuck complement each other brilliantly, and they are very cleverly balanced with Mitesh Soni playing a whole range of other roles. Dennis Herdman has a tall physique, a very flexible body that suggests he, like John Cleese, is a member of the Ministry of Funny Walks. His capacity to stretch his limbs to ever-increasing lengths is taken to a further extreme in the Bastille Prison in Act Two.

Thom Tuck’s short stature suggests the Ernie Wise character who loved to write sketches, but his ability to mimic Eric’s facial expressions and mannerisms is brilliant. Mitesh Soni has huge versatility; his puppetry in Paris was both skilful and hilarious.

The show is greatly enriched by the lively songs and the dance routines which are slick, light and often very funny. The set designs are impressive, the scene in the Bastille was brilliant with its surprises. The lighting and variety of settings keeps the audience entertained which is so Important when the cast is small.

Sean Foley was one of the actors in the original production of this play; now he is directing it. His assured hand guides this excellent piece of light entertainment that does not need the risqué elements to succeed. Pace and variety is all important in this show, and he achieves that skilfully.

This is a highly talented team, an excellent escapist piece of zany humour and a heart-warming tribute to one of the great comic duos of the twentieth century. They deserve good audiences. Rush to buy tickets for this show which runs to Saturday 19th.

Tim Crow


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