Big Bad Mouse – NODA Review by Pamela Booth

Pictures from RehearsalWe stepped back into the 60's for this Philip King and Falkland Cary farce set in the office of the Chunkibix Biscuit Factory. Mr Price-Hargreaves rules the roost with secretary Miss Spencer catering for his every whim. Poor Mr Bloome is very much the underdog in the office until the day he is accused of accosting and chasing a young girl. Suddenly he becomes a hero, a 'real man' of the firm and he gains celebrity status.  I'm not sure how PC this would be nowadays but in the 60's we obviously didn't notice. There were some great performances in this production and it was good to see new young faces in the cast. Katie Milner as the office girl Fiona was very relaxed in her role.It is not easy opening a play alone on the stage but she was completely at ease as a trendy teenager. She was joined by fellow office worker Harold (Tom Powell) and the two of them were an excellent addition to the cast. The blustering Mr Price- Hargreaves ( Mark Bamforth) brought his experience to the stage and dominated the office over the nervous Mr Bloome (Richard Sutcliffe) until the tables turned in the second act. Mr Bloome's transformation was very convincing and highly amusing. Paula Vickers as the long suffering secretary was excellent in her role and very amusing. She had wonderful facial expressions and her transformation in the final scene was brilliant. The partnership between Mr Price-Hargreaves and Mr Bloome worked well and they handled their role reversal in the second act very well. Miss Spencer's niece Doris (Emily Hobbs) the cause of all the confusion, was excellent in her part and there was a pleasing performance from Jennifer Scott as the overbearing Lady Chesapeake. The costumes brought back many memories and had been well put together for the 60's look. This was a wonderful romp with lots of funny moments and a great selection of songs both at the start of the play and during the interval. I must confess to knowing the words to all of them. Director  David Newall Assistant Director  Zarina Belk