It Runs in the Family – May

This hilarious farce by Ray Cooney is set in a hospital, and contains the usual assortment of farcical nuts running in and out of doors mistaking everybody for someone else, as Dr. Mortimore tries to fend off an ex lover, an aggressive punk teenager, his superior, Sir Willoughby Goddard, a police sergeant, a geriatric in a wheelchair, and various other lunatics so that he may, at last, deliver the Ponsonby Lecture to a conference of international colleagues. Simon Vines played the frustrated and bewildered Dr Mortimore, increasingly entrapped in the deceitful coils of his own making, in which he involves his hapless colleague Dr Bonney (Michael Cooke), in an attempt to keep the bad news from his domineering wife Rosemary (Sue Swallow).  Ex- nurse Jane Tate (Felicity Abbott) informs Mortimore that his illegitimate son Leslie (Antonio Waite) has found out that his father is a doctor in the hospital and is coming to confront him, but that he is being pursued for motoring offences by a police sergeant (Phil Wright).  Matron, played by Ros Tunbridge, is instructed to sedate the boy with 100mg of Largactil but finds herself injected by mistake, and falls off a balcony!   Ros’s real life husband Neil Tunbridge portrays a mischievous geriatric in a wheelchair, providing an all-too-rare occasion of both members of the Tunbridge acting dyasty appearing in the same Parlour Players show. Meanwhile the brusque and pompous Hospital Chairman, Sir Willoughby Goddard (Jim Gibbons) is trying unsuccessfully to get Mortimore to greet the conference delegates, whilst Dr Connolly (Andrew Mander) is equally unsuccessfully trying to rehearse the Staff Christmas pantomime.  We also meet his ancient mother played by Joyce Wells, as well as the ward sister played by Caroline East.  The whole comical feast was directed by John Shepherd who must have been delighted with excellent and pacy acting from his cast, and the continuous uproarious laughter from the audience!


The Cast & Director (from left, standing): Ros Tunbridge,  Andrew Mander, Joyce Wells, Simon Vines, Antonio Waite, Jim Gibbons, Sue Swallow, Felicity Abbott, Michael Cooke, Caroline East, Neil Tunbridge, Phil Wright.             In the Directors Chair: John Shepherd