Michael Cooney, who now lives and works in Los Angeles and has several film scripts to his credit, has certainly inherited his father’s talent for writing, having collaborated with Ray Cooney on the hit comedy Tom, Dick and Harry.
A scene from Cash on Delivery at the Mill at Sonning Photo: Norman Weston
When he wrote Cash on Delivery in the mid-1990s it became a big hit in Oslo, to his amazement. Hardly surprising as I spent the first act of this play about a social security scam, mopping up tears of mirth, rating it as one of the most hilarious 60 minutes I have had the good fortune to see on stage.
Recently graduated Rikki Lawton gives an impressive performance as the young landlord, supposedly suffering from gout, playing the social security system for all it’s worth. With the help of Nick Wilton as his lodger, he is up to every trick in the book including a dead body, which proves to be very much alive. Wilton is custom-made for his role and is superb. All is well until the man from the Department of Social Security office arrives with a list of 25 different applications to be signed for, a role played with gusto by Eric Carte. News of a death in the house sees a bereavement counsellor, beautifully played by Anita Graham, introduced to the proceedings.
The star cast of 10 includes another Mill favourite, Royce Mills, with the director Brian Godfrey doubling in a minor role. My only criticism is that the second act could benefit from a ten-minute cut.