Ray Cooney’s Run For Your Wife! is guaranteed to have audiences rolling in the aisles, but not so much on this occasion.
The fault lies mainly in the casting of two major roles, the taxi driver, with one wife at home in Streatham and another at home in Wimbledon, and the occupant of the flat upstairs at the latter location who finds himself involved in the conspiracy.
Matthew Cottle lacks the personality necessary for Cooney’s delightful rogue of a taxi driver, John Smith, who schedules every minute of his days and nights to spend equal time with his two wives without arousing the suspicions of either, while Patrick Lennox, as the upstairs layabout Stanley, living on social security, is not at his best playing farce.
Trouble brews when John Smith is mugged and ends up in hospital, where both of his addresses surface, causing both the Streatham and Wimbledon police to investigate and here again, casting is at fault.
Darren Machin as the Wimbledon detective is completely believable, whereas Harry Gostelow, as the Streatham policeman is too young for a role which calls for a more mature father figure, who, emerging from the kitchen having made the tea and wearing an apron, would appear normal, whereas Gostelow looks slightly ridiculous.
Maxine Gregory is excellent with a spot on performance as the Wimbledon wife Mary, so too is Richard Derrington as the gay occupant of the upstairs flat at Streatham. If only some of the rest of the cast could follow suit.