Friday, 21 March 2014

Review: Two Into One at the Menier Chocolate Factory



Two Into One
Menier Chocolate Factory
Reviewed on Thursday 20th March 2014


Regardless of whether you usually prefer to see big commercial musicals or heart wrenching plays, everybody needs to see a good farce every now and again, particularly when they are written, directed and performed to the standard of Ray Cooney's Two Into One.

Ray Cooney & Josefina Gabrielle
The stellar comedy centres around MP Richard Willey who, instead of going to work (which is what he tells his not so innocent wife, Pamela), enlists the help of his friend, George Pigden, to book a second hotel room so he can meet with his mistress. Cue confusion, mistaken identity and people running in and out of doors frantically - all the necessary ingredients for a classic farce.

The pace of Two Into One is extraordinary, the timing is just as technical as the choreography of a huge ensemble dance number. The cast are clearly well rehearsed as the production is slick. I felt utterly exhausted from laughing but somehow the piece continues to get more and more ridiculous, there are plenty of "I don't want to look, but I can't help it" moments.

Paul Farnsworth's design is neat and cleverly changes from the hotel lobby to the two hotel bedrooms. The transitions verge on looking a little clumsy; however, Ray Cooney's comical, energetic set moving is a huge redeeming feature.

The piece feels a tad too long, although I have no idea which part should be shortened. Michael Praed (Richard Willey) and Nick Wilton (George Pigden) are sensational in the two leading roles. Josefina Gabrielle also shines as Pamela. 

It has been far too long since a masterful farce such as Two Into One has taken London by storm, Ray Cooney's play is better than therapy!

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Two Into One runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory until Saturday 26th April 2014.
Please visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Catherine Ashmore

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