‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ Is A Light Comedy With Energy
No Sex Please, We’re British, by Alistair Foot and Anthony Marriott, opened Friday night at Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown. It’s a light comedy with a thin and silly plot but under Todd Pullan’s direction, the cast pulled it off with energy to spare.
Briefly, newlyweds Peter (Jolomi E. Amuka) and Frances (Patricia Culliton) Hunter live in an apartment over the bank where Peter works. Inadvertently, they receive a large package of pornography.
They enlist another bank worker, Brian (Daniel Lucariello) to help them dispose of the packages. Their endeavors are complicated by the arrival of Peter’s mother, Eleanor (Marsha Pownall), and Peter’s boss, Mr. Bromhead (John Pickett). Further complications arise when a bank inspector (Jacob Smith) shows up, as do two hookers, Susan (Mary Hetrick) and Barbara (Alaska Rivera). Off and on, a policeman pops in (John Vine) and, of course, the deliveryman (Dylan Sorenson).
I enjoyed each and every portrayal. All the actors created believable characters and Amuka and Culliton’s more rational behavior was a perfect foil for Lucariello’s character, who became more and more hysterical with each new package delivery.
John Pickett hit the right note as head of the bank, and I loved Marsha Pownall as Eleanor. Every line was delivered cleanly and crisply. Jacob Smith as Mr. Needham did a great job as someone who had taken two many sleeping pills.
John Vine, Dylan Sorenson, Mary Hetrick and Alaska Rivera didn’t have large parts, but they filled their smaller roles admirably.
The stage set continued Little Theatre’s tradition of well-designed, functional sets. It’s quality every time.
The director’s notes in the program mention the British accent (or lack thereof) with each actor, but, for me, that’s a non-issue. Some performers gave it a try, others opted to pass. Either way, it all worked. It’s rather like the old TV show, Mayberry, RFD, where Andy Griffith’s character had a southern drawl, but Aunt Bee certainly didn’t. Suspend disbelief at the door. The play is telling a story, and tone counts for more than the actual voice. Having said that, I did like John Vine’s cockney accent.
A pat on the back for technical director, Jason Dorman and stage manager, Jacob Smith. Credit the artwork in the play to Christian Park.
Also, always praise for the backstage crew, Patricia Culliton, Wayne Hutton, Helen Merrill, Jan Merrill, Norm Merrill, William Paul, Andrew Pullan, Dylan Sorenson, John Vine, Melissa Vullo, and Luanne Wannamaker.
No Sex Please, We’re British is not serious drama, and there’s no deep message. Accept it for what it is — a light comedy in the middle of a cold winter.
The play repeats today at 2 p.m. and again Jan. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. For tickets, call the box office at 483-1095, or visit the theatre website at http://www.lucilleballlittletheatre.org.