Our November 2019 show is It Runs in the Family by Ray Cooney.

Barbara Harris is in the Director’s chair for this fabulous farce and the launch night for this play is on Wednesday May 29th at 7.30pm in the Church Annexe, Old Hall Lane, Woodford. SK7 1PR where Barbara will tell you all about the characters and her vision for the play. 

The audition proper is on Wednesday 26th June at 7.30pm in the Church Annexe, Old Hall Lane, Woodford. SK7 1PR. 

Playing dates at Woodford Community Centre are 20th– 23rd November 2019

The character breakdown is as follows and you can download a PDF version here.

Dr David Mortimore (50-60) – Senior Neurology Specialist on the brink of procuring a Knighthood if he successfully delivers the Ponsonby Lecture. However, he is the character around whom the mayhem of the play is set so the title of Sir looks increasingly less attainable as the play progresses!  He is charming and slightly pompous.  The role is physically quite demanding.

Dr Mike Connolly (25–35) – An exuberant boyish doctor of the lower orders therefore younger than Dr Mortimore.  Probably just out of medical school who loves acting and dressing up; eager to please but is often frenetic.

Rosemary Mortimore (50-60) – David Mortimore’s wife.  Charming and very supportive of her husband.  She is refined, outgoing and pleasant; nothing gets past her.

Dr Hubert Bonney (50-60) – Ray Cooney’s archetypal long suffering ‘best friend’ who takes the brunt of David Mortimore’s problems.  He is a fairly “insignificant” man who lives with his elderly mother and only wants a quiet life!!  However, during the course of the play, he becomes the surrogate father of an 18 years old lad and the quiet life is shattered! The role is physically demanding.

Matron (middle aged) – One of Ray Cooney’s finest female roles.  She is a no-nonsense type of woman; robust, ample, strict and a rule follower.  This matron is every bit from the stable of the ‘Carry On’ school of matrons!  The role requires some physical fitness.

Sir Willoughby Drake (over 60 ) – Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hospital and retired Surgeon; a stern administrator.  He has a bunch of neurologists in the lecture hall awaiting the Annual Ponsonby Lecture to be delivered by David Mortimore.  He makes it quite clear what he thinks about David who certainly was not his first choice to deliver the lecture.

Jane Tate (40ish) – A pretty, likeable, wholesome sort of woman, a former nurse who had a fling in the sluice room with David Mortimore 18 years previously.  She arrives at the hospital to give David the happy news that he has a son!!

Sister (25-50) – Incredibly pleasant and efficient nurse at the hospital.

Leslie – The 18 years old son with a punk exterior who appears to be physically quite threatening but is not.  He does think things through and is surprisingly intellectual and emotional.  He uses very simple logic and is very excitable like a young puppy.  A physical role.

Police Sergeant (30-60) – He is practical down to earth and does everything “by the book”.  He is the sort of policeman who has “to get to the bottom of everything” whilst others are trying to fend him off with half-truths.  He has a wonderful speech towards the end of the play where he asks all the questions that no one wants him to ask and then gets locked in the bathroom!

Bill (50+) – A patient who unwittingly becomes an irritation to Dr. Mortimore.  He spends most of the play in a wheelchair watching what is going on in the Doctors’ Common Room which he thinks is his private ward complete with drinks and cabaret. He has great fun with a soda siphon! The role requires hopping on one leg.

Mrs Bonney (60+) – Hubert’s mother.  She is an energetic and lovely grandmotherly woman.  She is surprisingly sanguine about all the carrying on she learns about her son.  She is what one might call a ‘game old bird’!

‘It Runs In The Family’ is a Farce  by Ray Cooney, the award winning Master of this genre. The play is set in the Doctors’ Common Room of a large hospital where, as in all the best farces, mayhem reigns and the laughter begins

Dr Mortimore is preparing to deliver a career-defining lecture in an international conference, which requires careful preparation and precise rehearsal. His rehearsals are immediately disrupted by the sudden appearance of an estranged lover complete with “baggage”! Various Christmas arrangements, a Policeman, a difficult matron and a touch of cross-dressing added to an assortment of nutcases running in and out of doors mistaking everybody for someone else makes for a great evening’s entertainment with laughter all round.

“My glasses steamed up with laughter…A must for the bruised in spirit and the young at heart.” – The Sunday Times

“Tickles the funny bones quite shamelessly.” – Sunday Express, London

“As in every good farce from Ben Travers to Joe Orton, the location becomes a madhouse filled with an epidemic of unbridled lunacy.” – London Financial Times

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