Monday, 15 October 2018

Theatre Review: Cheeky chappie steals variety show

THE saucy — and outrageous — humour of comic legend Max Miller was alive and kicking at Peppard Memorial Hall

THE saucy — and outrageous — humour of comic legend Max Miller was alive and kicking at Peppard Memorial Hall last week.

Terry Sopp entertained the audience with the Cheeky Chappie’s stand-up routine as part of the Chiltern Players’ Spice Of Life variety show.

Resplendent in the comedian’s signature flamboyantly flowered suit, half-mast trousers and cocked trilby, Terry engaged his audience with a selection of jokes from Miller’s White and Blue Books. Needless to say, the ones from the latter brought about the most titters.

The show, produced by Astrid Stevens contained a mix of light-heated sketches, playlets and fun items.

James Peedell and Mike Foster took us back to the heyday of Laurel and Hardy with a couple of amusing sketches. Mike was the pompous and bullying Hardy while James gave a good impression of the hapless, accident-prone Laurel. The role of Sugar, Ollie’s long-suffering wife, was nicely played by Diana Guluta.

Jenny Titchener read two of Joyce Grenfell’s entertaining “nursery” monologues and there were a pair of two-handed playlets revolving around interview techniques. In Perfectionist, Heather Cannon interviewed the eponymous candidate (Karen Quibell) while in Hell Of An Interview, the man up for the job was Lucy Furr, AKA Satan, played by James Peedell.

The show had been billed as an evening of light entertainment and proved to be true to its title. There was the odd first-night blip when the singing didn’t quite sync with the recorded piano accompaniment, but some of the troopers managed to capitalise on this and incorporate it into their performance.

And there were some real golden nuggets. The Crossed Lines ‘circumcision’ sketch, which saw James Peedell supposedly phoning a doctor about a certain medical procedure but somehow ending up speaking to Terry Sopp’s scissor-happy tailor, was hilarious. Throughout the show, Rosemary House, in various guises including that of a forlorn green-clad fairy, brought about a few chuckles in her fruitless attempts to deliver a Christmas song.

She got her wish at the end of the show when the whole company gathered to sing an ensemble number Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

Spice Of Life

Peppard Memorial Hall

Thursday, November 28

Carol Evans

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