The Dreadful Penny at Mission Theatre, Bath

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Posted on 11th May 2017

The Dreadful Penny

Playing up Theatre Company

The Mission Theatre, Bath

Tuesday May 9th - Saturday 13th, 7.30pm.

 Twenty five characters, a cast of five, a highly inventive set, quick time changes, excellent sound effects, contemporary references, music, dance, jokes, gusto, full blooded acting and a plot best described as a ripping adventure; that's about it really.  Just another night at The Mission.

 The excuse for the action is a tale about the invention of a modern saddle for the hitherto uncomfortable penny farthing bike. Cecil Snerd, the modest saddler and inventor, has the patent, but bicycle magnate, Hans von Bulge, can see the fortune waiting to be made by manufacturing and so wants the patent.

 Pursuit of that takes the action across the Channel, where there are off-course pirates, to the continent (cue Brexit jokes) and on to Egypt and the desert (cue Lawrence of Arabia theme, aka Florence of Arabia owing to O’Toole’s performance, but the writer missed that joke out).

 The return Channel crossing by balloon almost makes it as the plot lurches towards a happy ending.

John Thrower, Michael Seeley, Sophie Brooks, Darian Nelson and Ann Hipperson hurl themselves at the tale without missing any opportunity to go way over the top.

 Running full tilt until Saturday.

Philip Horton

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