Not Now Darling - performed March 1996

By Ray Cooney and John Chapman

Performed with the kind permission of Warner Chappell Plays Ltd

Director - Chris Mason


(in order of appearance)

Arnold Crouch Adrian Bolton
Miss Whittington Julie Rainford
Miss Tipdale Rosamund Pettett
Mrs Frencham Kerry King
Gilbert Bodley Martin Rayner
Commander Frencham Nigel Lister
Harry McMichael Alan Wheeler
Janie McMichael Sarah McCarthy
Sue Lawson Jo Simons
Maude Bodley Luc-inda Gatt
Mr Lawson Andy Dyer

Production Team

Chris Mason, Luc-inda Gatt, Jude Hussey, Thelma Rayment, Bill Chapman, Bruce Emeny, Sara Paynter, Alison Baker, Rosamund Pettett, Hannah Harding, Greg Garrard, Maurice Barber, Viv Wheatley, Patience Ling, Jane Cousins, Stevie Sadler, Rene Hacon, Wyn Long.

The Play

A mad cap British farce about mistresses and minks in the London fur salon of Bodley, Bodley, and Crouch. Gilbert Bodley plans to sell an expensive mink to a mobster dirt cheap for his wife, because the wife is Gilbert's mistress and he wants to "Close the deal." However, instead of doing his own dirty work, he gets his reluctant partner, Arnold Crouch, to do it for him. Things go awry when the mobster plans to buy it for his OWN mistress and soon the whole plan goes out the window along with women's clothing and a few other things. Mistaken identities, scantily clad women kept hidden in closets, mobsters, suspicious wives, and misguided shoppers keep this comedy trucking along in the spirit of the Marx Brothers' and Noises Off.


Theatregoers have another treat in store with the Manifest Theatre Group's latest production. Not Now Darling.
The group's second production of the season is a farce by Ray Clooney and John Chapman.

This is a traditional farce with all the regular hallmarks - people hiding in cupboards, numerous spouses coming and going continuously and a wealth of mistaken identities and innuendo.
The script by Ray Clooney and John Chapman was modern, extremely funny and very snappy, giving the excellent cast every opportunity to shine. They seized that chance with both hands and gave one of the best performances I have seen in a long time on the amateur stage.
The theatre is small but well-conceived and every inch of the stage and auditorium were put to best use. The set was bright, colourful and greatly assisted the tableau for the performers. The lighting and sound effects were subtly and effectively managed, and the costumes were excellent throughout.
The two main characters, Mr Crouch and Mr Bodley, were played faultlessly and most effectively by Adrian Bolton and Martin Rayner respectively. They both handled complex and often rapid dialogue with immense skill and conveyed the cautious and rash characters of the two men very plausibly, Adrian Bolton particularly displaying immense energy and animation.
Sara McCarthy and Jo Simons played the femmes fatales quite beautifully from opposite ends of the social scale, coping specially well with the varying states of undress involved.
Rosamund Pettett as the long-suffering secretary was a catalyst to much of the action, her timing and reaction noticeably good. There were cameo performances by the remaining cast, Julie Raynford, Kerry King, Nigel Lister, Alan Wheeler, Luc-inda Gatt and Andy Dyer all of which complemented the overall production and created a marvellous and genuinely humorous play.
I particularly liked the constant stream of clothes flowing from the window, the clever way the plot was constructed and delivered and, most of all, the superb pace maintained throughout - never a dull moment.
Malcolm Daniels

This was a real rib-tickling, side-splitting performance from the Manifest Theatre Group.
The cast gave their all in this hilarious farce by Ray Clooney and John Chapman.
It went at a cracking pace from start to finish and at least two of the cast were dripping with sweat long before the end.
This was British comedy at its best with timing the all important factor and the Manifest gave a tremendous performance, keeping the audience laughing all the time. There was not a weak link in the cast of 11.
Adrian Bolton, who has been a member of the group since the very beginning and who has appeared in many of the productions gave one of his best ever performances. He was magnificent in a role, somewhat different to those he usually portrays.
Martin Rayner too, was outstanding, and who could fault Sarah McCarthy? Anyone who ends up almost naked on stage and is still seen around town next day, deserves full marks and everyone's admiration!
Rosamund Pettett was the perfect foil as the demure Miss Tipdale.
Lesley Pallett

Photo Shoot

If you have any photos from this production, then please let us know.

Sarah, Martin