May The Farce Be With You

Highcliffe Charity Players    St Mark’s Church, Highcliffe  Chelsea Ball 26 July  2023

I’ll be honest, today has not been a brilliant day. What with various mishaps with traffic and some very wet washing, I was really not in the mood to be braving the rain and heading to St James’s Church to see Highcliffe Charity Players most recent show. However, how pleased I was to be a part of an audience who had the honour to see a very talented group of people have an absolute blast on stage. I don’t think I am overstating it when I say we were all tickled pink, and I’m certain everyone had a great time.

The hall was set up in a cabaret style, which had a cosy little feel about it and encouraged audience members to get to know each other a little bit more. The audience were also able to bring their own food and drink along, which is a stroke of genius. As the Director, Matt Smith, quite rightly pointed out: the more you drink the funnier it gets!

The show gets off to a very good start with a musical melody from The Wedding Singer. It became immediately obvious that this was not a show for the cast to shine individually, this was very much a team show for everyone on stage to come together and shine equally. It was lovely to see talent utilised in this way, and it was great to see what everyone brought to the table. Throughout the show, there were various singing sections, but a personal favourite was their version of ‘Viva La Vida’, which was beautifully sung, with great harmonies.

In between the musical sections were a series of themed comedy sketches. Whilst the musical numbers were excellent, this is where the cast were really able to pull out their comedy chops… and chops they did indeed have. The sketches were all very well paced, extremely witty and with perfect comedic timing. It’s really difficult to pick out some favourites, as it was all so good. I do, however, have to commend the genius who came up with the synchronised swimming sketch, which was perfectly executed and incredibly funny to watch.

Another stand out for this show was the choreography by Charlotte Starr. The moves were slick, interesting to watch, and the cast all looked like they were having a great time.

It was very touching for the cast to come out and explain the purpose behind the raffle, which was to raise money for Bowel Cancer. Cancer is something that has touched us all at some point in our lives, and I sincerely hope that they have raised, and continue to raise, a good amount of money during the run.

So, in summary, if you want to be entertained, have a giggle, and forget all of your troubles, you should absolutely head to Highcliffe to see May the Farce Be With You. You will not be disappointed. The show is on for the remainder of the week, with the final show on Saturday 29 July.