Drama Society brings classic British comedy to Cayman

| 16/09/2016

CNS Local Life(CNS Local Life): Laughter, applause and the Mission Impossible theme song filled the room during Cayman Drama Society’s opening night of Yes Minister. The play follows James ‘Jim’ Hacker, a British politician who has just been appointed Minister for Administrative Affairs. Hacker wishes to carry out his own plans for an ‘open government’ and to hold an ‘economy drive’ to cut down government waste.

Hacker feels he’s finally in a position of power being an MP. Little does he know that the much smarter and crafty permanent secretary of the ministry, Sir Humphrey Appleby, is constantly trying to foil his plans in order to maintain the status quo for government and civil service.

Sir Humphrey knows that it is he and the civil servants that run the country. Sir Arnold Robinson, the cabinet secretary, shares the same views as Sir Humphrey and often provides counsel for him during his endeavours to manipulate Hacker.

The minister’s unfortunate private secretary, Bernard Wooley, is caught up in the middle of the debacle, bouncing between his political higher-up, Hacker, and his civil service boss, Sir Humphrey. Hacker’s political advisor Frank Wiesel is always by Hacker’s side and constantly at odds with Sir Humphrey, who purposely pronounces Wiesel’s name as ‘weasel’ to annoy him. Wiesel is trying to catch sneaky Sir Humphrey in his schemes but fails time and time again, meanwhile gullible Hacker remains completely oblivious to what his permanent secretary is doing.

Yes Minister is a well-written and witty political satire, ringing true to the renowned British television comedy it was inspired by. The play is the brainchild of wonderfully talented duo, Chuck and Barrie Quappe, who took some of the best lines and plots from all of the episodes of the award-winning television show and mashing them together to create a story line that made sense for this adaptation.

The quick-witted British style humour is right up my alley, however some of the lines have the potential to fly over one’s head.

All of the actors in the play performed incredibly well and did their best to maintain the comedic timing in the storyline. Adam Roberts gave a fantastic performance as Hacker, as did Mike Bishop as the naive Wooley and Michael McLaughlin, who portrayed the frantic Wiesel perfectly.

Dominic Wheaton, who portrayed the mischievous Sir Humphrey, also gave a stand-out performance. He encompassed the pompous and shady persona of Appleby and delivered his lines with the razor-sharp wit, which brought out quite a few chuckles from myself and the audience.

The Quappes on keyboards, guitar and percussion, along with Kate Allenger on violin, provided the colourful soundtrack for the production, with amusing inclusions of the Mission Impossible theme and the Godfather theme during the play.

It was my first time seeing a production at the Prospect Playhouse, and it was a fun and intimate experience. From start to finish, I didn’t feel as I was merely a spectator in the audience but more as if I was a part of the performance. There was a roar of applause at the end, confirming the production’s first night as a success.

The dates for Yes Minister are: 15-17 and 22-24 September, and 29 September to 1 October. (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays).

The play starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. You can purchase tickets by calling 938-1998 or email: boxoffice@cds.ky or visit the Cayman Drama Society website.

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