Jul 1 2011 by Alison Anderson, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
SIT back, switch the brain cells to ‘enjoy’ mode and immerse yourself in the rollicking good entertainment which is Philip King classic, chaotic wartime farce ‘See How They Run!’
Despite being written in 1943 and first seen at PFT in 1956, ‘See How They Run!’ has withstood the test of time, with the sight of Miss Skillon’s knickers still mirth-making even for a 21st century audience.
The chaotic comings and goings, double entendre and mistaken identities within the Vicarage of Merton-cum-Middlewick come to PFT smothered in eccentric acting, bounding energy and precision timing from a nine-strong cast who fully do justice to what is now recognised as one of the greatest of Great British farces.
The madcap plot revolves around five vicars – two of whom aren’t, Miss Skillon the busy-body battleaxe, the vicar’s actress wife, an escaped German prisoner-of-war, and Ida the maid who is not as dim as she seems.
This 2011 PFT version directed by Richard Baron adds nice little touches to an already proven crowd-pleasing formula – and the hard-working cast even put in some overtime by joining together as The Glee Singers to perform (very well) some wartime songs in the theatre bar before curtain-up.
The casting is superb, not a weak link among them, and there are certainly some very strong performances. Kate Quinnell as Ida puts in a particularly good comic turn, and Jacqueline Dutoit’s take on Miss Skillon’s slide from pillar of society to knicker-flashing drunk is a real hoot.
This may be the third See How They Run! appearance at PFT (1956 and 1988), but on the strength of its 2011 role in celebrating the theatre’s 60th anniversary season, there is no reason why this farce cannot make an encore or two in years to come.
See How They Run! continues in repertoire until October 12.