THE CURSE OF ELIZABETH FAULKNER
by Tim Downie.
Charing Cross Theatre The Arches Villiers Street WC2N 6NL To 23 November 2013.
Thu-Sat 10 pm.
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 0844 934650.
Review: William Russell 10 October.
Amusing gaggle of things that go bump in the night.
Billed as a rip-roaring Gothic farce, this export from the Edinburgh Fringe is a splendid piece of the theatre of the absurd involving geese, dwarfs, mad Hispanic monks, vengeful ghosts and men fated to die when they reach the age of 33, which the heroes of the tale are about to do.
You may not die laughing. Elizabeth Faulkner certainly did not, but there are hilarious moments – not least those caused by the presence of the geese – and the cast give it their all.
Josh Haberfield plays James Faulkner, strapping heir to the family fortune, seeking help in lifting the family curse from a bankrupt undertaker, Reginald Thorndike – played by Neil Henry. Both men are about to become 33. They are aided in their quest – or not, as the case may be – by Anil Desai as a very odd Peruvian and Faulkner’s even odder Uncle Mortimer, with Harriet Sym as everybody else, including the Undertaker’s secretary.
As for the mad monk, who he is played by is one more mystery – possibly someone who is not doing something else at the time. It is a slight piece, but makes a perfect ending to an evening spent somewhere else; the jokes do not outstay their welcome and the cast play it with just the right tongue in cheek approach.
Reginald Thorndike: Neil Henry.
James Faulkner: Josh Haberfield.
The Peruvian/Uncle Mortimer: Anil Desai.
Miss Francis/Dolores/Old Woman: Harriet Sym.
Director: Anthony Coleridge.
Designer: Martin Thomas.
Composer: Chris Bartholomew.
Costume: Charlie Gardner.