REVIEW: One for the Pot: not much on plot. So what?

One for the Pot is all about grown men mak­ing fools of themselves over money.

It is a timely show that serves as an hilarious antidote to troubled times.

Thankfully, the pot in ques­tion does not contain turkey stew but refers to a pot of money intended for one living relative only. As that fortunate fellow enters the scene to claim his prize, some other relatives emerge from the woodwork as the smell of money wafts through the air.

The ensuing battle for the £10,000 creates a carte blanche of buffoon situations to the total delight of the audience. Brows unfurrow throughout the show as immature becomes ridiculous, and audience titters become guffaws. A scan of the audience will reveal a una­ni­mous showing of teeth at al­most any moment. It is British comedy at its most farcical.

The nine actors in this production are up for it. They are an exceptional cast, includ­ing several Drayton favourites. Director Alex Mustakas really hit the mark here with his seasoned talents for timing and unleashing the joyful child in the players.

Steve Ross plays Billy Hick­ory Wood, the would-be bene­ficiary of a rich mill owner’s £10,000. It is nothing short of marvelous the way the actor manoeuvres on the stage and turns up as a multitude of diverse characters. His reper­toire of accents stays true as his dizzying entrances and exits con­found and delight. The tango that he performs will not soon be forgotten. One can only fret that by the end of the run this actor will have lost his figure.

His solicitor (accomplice) is played by Darren Keay with charm and craft, right to the Cockney accent that plays him up. Enduring favourites are Karen K. Edissi, Jonathan’s sister, Amy Hardcastle. She manages to keep her dignified character against all odds. Keith Savage plays Jugg, the house servant who copes with his station with a comforting tipple and flourishing limb.

William Fisher in his Dray­ton debut plays Jonathan Hardcastle, the man with the money. He plays the ascot wear­ing, scotch drinking, ill tempered Brit with aplomb.

Susan Johnston Collins, as Winnie, Billie’s baffled wife, is the epitome of the shrewish, no nonsense spouse and is hilari­ous in her appearance and de­meanour.

The curtains open to a set so pretty it draws instant applause from the audience. Allan Wil­bee has devised a resplendent look around the probably reinforced multi-doors.

One For the Pot is by the re­nowned playwright Ray Coon­ey. It was first performed in 1961 in London where it ran to over 1,200 performances at Whitehall Theatre. Clooney also wrote the acclaimed Not Now, Darling and Run for Your Wife.  Audiences soon forget all attempts to make sense of the plot and surrender to the silliness, fun and rejuvenating spirit of this pot of gold.

Playing through Nov. 2, tick­ets can be purchased through the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse box office at 519-747-7788 or toll free at 1-888-449-4463.

Visit www.stjacobs­coun­