Sussex Playwrights Reviews
The Foundry Group
Book and lyrics Philip Reeve and Brian Mitchell
Music Brian Mitchell
Arrangements edited by Stephen Wrigley
The angels get along very nicely as long as the Lord God doesn’t interfere, so it’s sometimes wise to pack Him off on a little seaside break. From Heaven to Devon seems the ideal solution – but there’s a rather fetching atheist professor and her drama critic fiancé in the mix …
Reeve & Mitchell serve the latest vintage-inspired slice of Englishness from the engagingly skewed Foundry Group world of Ministry of Biscuits and Whaddya Know – We’re In Love!
It’s a boutique multi-roling four hander production with audio track, created and developed by the cast under lockdown conditions, with choreography by Amy Sutton, costumes and settings by Peta Taylor.
Writer Brian Mitchell has a blast as the Archangel Gabriel, a quick thinking Jeeves to Murray Simon’s Lord God, of course an Englishman, all energy and charm, channelling Bertie Wooster in striped blazer and monocle.
Emma Wingrove’s a prim beige-clad sensible atheist transformed to larky, tipsy flapper.
Jo Neary brings the bounce, as Perkins the part time angel, the receptionist and the actress, and as the waitress her rendering of Full English Breakfast with Mitchell was a huge hit with the crowd.
Brighton Open Air Theatre’s a magical place of trees, flowers and birds as night falls over the bowl and the spotlight slants across the stage.
It has its little ways – and with the long narrow space, with audience curving round the sides, acoustics can be a challenge. Unmiked voices, especially singing, can be difficult to hear all round.
There’s a song sheet – Mitchell’s clever Gilbert & Sullivanesque lyrics and sparky lines deserve every syllable pointed home, so maybe a case for having a mic option at the venue?
Sweet, gentle, full of heart, you know just where you are with a Foundry Group show, this time in that Christie / Wodehouse world with a surreal twist.
Just imagine it touring the genteel hotels of the south coast, complete with Palm Court Orchestra …
PS – Jolly good!