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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Funny Money

Royal Court, Liverpool
January 29 – February 27

Author: Ray Cooney
Director:  Leslie Lawton
Producer: Royal Court
Cast Includes:  Neil Caple, Eithne Browne, Mark Moraghan,  Jane Hogarth, Alan Stocks, Roy Carruthers, Roy Davis, Mark Bixter.

Running Time: 2 hrs 15 mins.

Promo image for 'Funny Money'.


Something of a departure from the usual Royal Court fare of sharp, “punch-line” comedy, Funny Money has its moments and will doubtlessly appeal lovers of the convoluted creature that is British farce, but overall is bit too much like hard work.

 

What’s difficult to pinpoint is why. It certainly isn’t the cast. Neil Caple and Eithne Browne pull out all the stops as the married couple who find themselves mistakenly in possession of two million in used notes. Both are ably supported by the versatile Alan Stocks and Roy Carruthers as two police officers on the case for entirely different reasons and excellent too is Roy Davis who’s increasingly frustrated cabbie, Bill, is a picture of comic timing. Mark Moraghan as Vic gives a fine example of befuddlement and Jane Hogarth’s Betty at times holds the whole thing together with a fine portrayal of selfishness.

Neither is energy problematic as the entire cast are at full steam throughout, all of which is admirably directed by Leslie Lawton. No, the problem lies in a script that, although clever, all too often becomes too complicated for its own good and leaves the audience at a loss to who’s who by the end.

Farce is a complicated beast that to work at its best needs to be slick, fast-paced and delivered with assurance. Funny Money remains funny in places, but is somewhat let down by the fact that it’s not as slick or as assured as might be hoped, with a long set up that cuts the pace of the first half drastically.

 

Image link: Royal Court Theatre  official website
www.royalcourtliverpool.co.uk


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