The Town Hall, Dorchester


SURREAL comedy should always have to be performed with a straight face and the Dorchester Drama cast do just that with uncanny skill in this absurd tale by N.F. Simpson that has survived the years extremely well.


When a man falls overboard from a luxury cruise liner into the Mediterranean Sea, members of the World National Help You Out Year Week - yes really - gather to ponder how best to deal with the situation and the non swimmer's watery problem.


After much deliberation, the charity decides that the perfect solution is to provide the drowning man with a piano so he can while away the time while waiting to be rescued. The piano, like the hero of the story, is heard but never seen as various ridiculous ideas are discussed on what to do next, removing him from the sea not apparently being one of the worthy charity's choices.


Meanwhile the posh passengers on the liner find his constant cries for help very irritating as it gets in the way of their egotistic idle chats now as he has been floundering in the Bay of Naples for several months.


Mad? That is only the start of a series of satirical scenes which include wise words from the press, the Government, the legal profession, a professional sympathiser and even the Archbishop of Canterbury who spend endless time weighing up the value of the man's plight on their own public image.


A cast of 14 excellent actors play numerous roles in this hilarious comedy reminiscent of the best of the Goon Shows but which has at times a worrying ring of truth in our present era of official obsession with petty regulations and ticking boxes


There is a further performance on Saturday May 6 at Martinstown Village Hall. Be there, you won’t be sorry.