Comedy play Funny Money at Manor Pavilion Theatre, Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 07:06 16 August 2018

Funny Money, a

Funny Money, a "crazy" farce being staged at the Manor Pavilion Theatre, Sidmouth. Picture: Contributed

Contributed

Man tries to mislead police after discovering a briefcase full of cash, in Ray Cooney’s farce Funny Money

Funny Money, a Funny Money, a "crazy" farce being staged at the Manor Pavilion Theatre, Sidmouth. Picture: Contributed

There is still time to catch the first farce of this year’s Sidmouth Summer Play Festival – Ray Cooney’s Funny Money.

Henry, a middle-aged accountant, is travelling home for his birthday party when he picks up the wrong briefcase on the Tube.

Opening it shortly after getting off, he finds it stuffed with used banknotes and goes into a pub’s toilets to count the money, discovering £735,000. Unwittingly, he catches the attention of a plain-clothes policeman who thinks he is behaving suspiciously, but does not know about the money.

When Henry arrives home, he tells his wife Jean they are emigrating immediately with the cash, but their friends Betty and Vic have just arrived and she does not want to go. Then the policeman knocks on the door and Henry, assuming he has come about the money, embarks on a series of attempts to mislead the officer and extricate himself.

Mistaken identities and farcical situations in Funny Money at the Manor Pavilion Theatre. Picture: ContributedMistaken identities and farcical situations in Funny Money at the Manor Pavilion Theatre. Picture: Contributed

Meanwhile, the cash-stuffed briefcase turns out to be linked with a Dutch criminal gang – and the man who had been carrying it is shot and thrown into the Thames, together with Henry’s briefcase. This leads to yet more identity mix-ups and the threat of a Dutch gangster approaching the house with a gun.

The cast includes local actor and Sidmouth regular Daniele Coombes, who is having great fun with her part as Jean.

“This is such a funny play,” she said. “Jean is dead set against Henry’s sudden plan to move to Spain with the stolen money. She starts drinking from all the stress, ends up a bit worse for wear and all sorts of chaos ensues.”

Funny Money is the seventh of twelve plays to be presented at The Manor Pavilion Theatre this summer. Season Producer, Paul Taylor Mills, is now in his sixth year of producing the festival, and is also a great fan of the play.

“Ray Cooney has been called ‘the master of English farce’ and he always delivers,” he said. “The Sidmouth audience love his plays and the crazy situations that he writes about. It’s so rewarding to have the theatre full of laughter.”

Funny Money runs until Wednesday, August 22 at The Manor Pavilion Theatre, Sidmouth.

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