Review: Wife After Death

Wife After Death
by Eric Chappell

Wife After Death is a comedy by Eric Chappell and was performed from the 25th March to the 1st April at Retford Little Theatre. I was lucky enough to catch their last performance.

This is a play centred around the elaborate funeral of a household name, and in true farcical fashion, startling (and funny) revelations are made throughout the course of the play, resulting in the realisation that no one really knew this man at all.

Firstly, I must praise the production team who left no detail untouched. The set received a round of applause on curtain up, and rightly so. A nice choice of music to compliment the play from the sound team and, as always, the lighting was flawless. The wardrobe team did a great job with costumes that accentuated the characters’ personalities. A special mention regarding props. The producer (with support from Sarah McKay Manning, Maxine Goldstone and cast members) gave great attention to detail, from a dead body to a full drinks cabinet. This really added to our experience as the audience.

I was really impressed with the cast as this was a challenging piece, especially for Harvey, played by Nigel Winfield and Vi, played by Liz Rew, who were both on stage for the entirety of the play. I liked their to and fro with each other, and they made the most of their one liners. Harvey’s facial expressions throughout made the audience feel like we were on his side in the unravelling that was to come.

Other cast members did well to bring out the ridiculous side of their characters; Sam Howe as Kevin and Sarah Brumby as Laura. Well done also to Kelly Whitton as Kay and Rowan Haughton who stepped in as Jane on Thursday’s performance. I particularly enjoyed Sarah Eakin’s performance as Jane, I found her very believable and her well-chosen nuances made the character stand out.

Well done to producer Keri Duffy for bringing the cast together, creating effective staging that flowed and giving the audience a good laugh!

Reviewed by Victoria Evans