theSpace On The Mile
Wednesday 10th August 10.40
Early morning plays are often to be avoided like Biblical plagues. Still, we decided to leave the flat early Wednesday morning
and experience such an event in the form of Country Wife, a restoration of classic play by Will Dalrymple Memorial Players,
and we delighted we chose to do so.
The show gets off to a sluggish start, as the large number of characters are introduced and the premise of the plot revealed;
local woman eater Harry Horner (a name which indicates the level of comedy being served up) is using the pretence of
impotence in order to seduce the wives and girlfriends of his closest friends. With some friends more accepting of the
diagnosis than others, Harry does what he does best with the women who are now free to fraternise with him under the
consent of their husbands, whilst working tirelessly to gain access to the ones whose husbands are less than convinced by
his new-found appreciation for the sanctity of womanhood.
As the plot suggests, there is a lot of introducing to get through, and as a result the play takes a good half an hour before it
really gets going. However, when it does it is funny and, at times, quite hilarious.
The show shifts its humour from the delicately absurd (cue the Horner gags), to the downright racist extremes and crude
language that come sufficiently infrequently to be funny and just on the right sight of good taste. It is also hard not to be
impressed by a stunning male performance of one of Harry’s female conquests; billed as an emergency stop gap for an ill actor,
we find it hard to believe that the original member will get her role back as he is the true star of the show. When it came to its
satisfying conclusion we couldn’t believe we had seen a show of such quality and wasn’t even eleven. The time may put people
off, but we urge those early risers to flock to the show; in short, what better is there to do at 9.30 (repeats of Frasier on C4 finish at 9am, after all).
Should you go and see it? Whyfe not?
The Country Wife plays until 27th August