By David F. Rooney
The Revelstoke Theatre Company’s wickedly funny production of the British sex comedy, It’s On, it’s Off, will keep you laughing through its two acts. I don’t know what it is about the Brits but their sex comedies are always very, very funny. And this one is no exception.
Directed by Darren McKay, this Ray Lawrence farce as it all — sexual infidelity, illegitimate children galore and mistaken identity — all wrapped around one girl’s dream of marrying the man she loves.
This is definitely not a play for the kids but for adults it’s a scream.
It’s On, It’s Off stars Graham Harper as Gerald Humphreys, Cecilia Lea as his long-suffering wife Daphne, Imogen Whale as their dewy-eyed, can’t-wait-to-get-hitched daughter Tina, Wendy Harper as Angela Hill, the Australian mother of Tina’s betrothed, Trevor, Jamie Ellis as Tina’s philandering brother, Robert, and Emily Horkley as Monica Cauldwell, Robert’s newly-pregnant girlfriend. They seem like a fairly ordinary nuclear family but it quickly goes pear-shaped as, with two days to go, Tina’s marriage plans start unravelling. And it get’s even better as the veil of sexual hypocrisy is slowly raised…
You never quite know what you’re going to get when you watch a dress rehearsal. Muffed lines are not uncommon and sometimes the actors’ personas just haven’t quite gelled yet. There was none of that in the Tuesday night rehearsal at the performing Arts Centre. The cast was bang-on and Jamie Ellis’ physical humour — yes, there’s plenty of that — was excellent. The only downside was Imogen Whale’s occasional lapse into a Canadian accent. But that was quite forgivable. Cecilia Lea made an excellent fishwife and I thought Emily Horkley (I don’t know where she got the vinyl miniskirt, but it was wonderfully tarty) and Graham Harper were terrific in their roles. But the actress to watch is Wendy Harper during the second half. I won’t say anything more about Wendy but I thought she was superb.
It’s On, It’s Off is being staged at the Performing Arts Centre February 28, March 1, 2 and March 7, 8, 9. The doors open at 7:30 and the curtain rises at 8 pm. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors over 60 and $12 for students.