Wolf's Clothing - performed February 1998

By Kenneth Horne

Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French - London

Director - Dennis Murfitt


(in order of appearance)

Yulie the Maid Yvonne Cobbold
Julian Calvert Martin Rayner
sally Calvert Liz Butler
Lady Blore Thelma Rayment
Rt. Hon. Sir John Blore Gordon Mussett
Janet Spicer Jessica Boulton
Andrew Spicer adrian Bolton

Production Team

Kerry King, Bruce Emeney, , Maurice Barber, Darryl Streatfield, Dennis Murfitt, Terry Cousins, Roger Licence, Jessica Boulton, Nigel Lister.

The Play

The action of the play takes place in the living room of the Calvert's house at Westling, on the Hampshire coast, in August.
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BED-HOPPING and wife swapping formed the basis of Kenneth Horne’s light-hearted comedy, but the some-what quaint moral standards and tame middle-class customs of its 1950s setting stripped this drama of anything other than the mildest suggestion of raunch, despite the provocative subject matter. However, this died not prevent the almost capacity audience from fully enjoying the production, and the evening had a dedicated and industrious cast toe recommend it.

Martin Rayner, who displayed real stage presence, carried the piece as Julian, the uptight husband exasperated with his clean image, charmingly accompanied by Liz Butler as his dizzy wife and these two interacted naturally to suggest convincingly their marital relationship.
The other couple in this bedroom farce of sorts consisted of Jessica Boulton as the haughty and vain Jane, and Adrian Bolton as her fornicating other half. He played his role with style and a feel for comic timing. Thelma Rayment and Gordon Mussett ably filled the small roles of the aristocratic neighbours, Yvonne Cobbold struggled with an implausible accent as Yuli, the European maid. But generally the performances were most pleasing, notable for their clarity of diction and clear characterisation.

A nicely dressed set and period wardrobe contributed towards the technically slick production, and compensated somewhat in the absence of strong or striking direction. However, there was actually comparatively little for the cast and director to work with.
Horne’s weak and dated script, although not entirely lacking in witty dialogue or neat twists, suffered from a light-weight plot, and was simply not tight enough, sharp enough nor sparkling enough to provide anything other than a gently diverting entertainment.
Helen McCarthy

WHAT a refreshing change – a play with sex but one which managed to convey all that was necessary without resorting to anything lewd, crude or rude. Wolf’s Clothing, the latest production by the Manifest Theatre Group, was billed as a gently British comedy, a description which could not be bettered, and the two-hour performance provided a really enjoyable and pleasant evening. Set in the late 1950s, the three-act play, directed by Dennis Murfitt, was entertaining from start to finish.

Liz Butler as the wife, bored by her predictable husband and looking for a little excitement, gave an outstanding performance. She was able back by Martin Rayner, the sometimes bewildered husband, and Jessica Boulton and Adrian Bolton, as the couple with very different marital problems. The story kept the audience interested and laughing happily throughout.
Lesley Pallett

Photo Shoot

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