Dry Rot
Date performed:
John Chapman
May 2011

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 One of the most successful farces that has appeared in London. It deals with a crazy but very likeable gang of bookies who, in order to be near the racecourse, are staying at a country hotel run by a retired colonel and his wife and daughter. Secret rooms, sliding panels, mistaken identity and a nice little bit of romance are some of the main ingredients of this very racy and slick farce, which never lets up for a moment and provides some of the best possible entertainment around.

Set in a quiet country inn, run by a retired colonel and his wife. All is peace and quiet at the Bull and Cow until the week of the race meeting at the local race course and a team of London bookies turn up intent on rigging the big race. What follows is fast, frenetic and extremely funny.

Dry Rot is a classic British farce and ran at the Whitehall Theatre in London for over three and a half years.
Not to be missed

Thoughts from the Director
Tudor have produced Dry Rot before (some sixteen years ago) and I still have fond memories of that production. Brian Parker played Alf Tubbe and Tony Webb played Flash Harry and I can still hear Tony’s voice after all these years.
I was therefore delighted to be given the chance to direct this classic farce. I had a strong cast at my disposal (although the original person I cast as Danby pulled out after a couple of weeks) I had an inventive and hard working set building team and I knew that the setting would look great as well as be very functional.
At the time of writing this, all we need is an audience and I hope you find the play as funny as we have during the course of rehearsals.
Have a good night.
Peter Howard

Review, The Star 12May2011
The Tudor Players's version of John Chapman's farce is a hoot.

The play is set in a country hotel, post war, run by a bumbling, ex-colonel and his wife. Peter Howard's set is great, with 50s wallpaper, a coat of arms and the inevitable stag’s head hanging up. Colonel Wagstaff’s hotel is pretty quiet until some wide boys descend, in order to win money betting on a losing horse. Chapman’s witty script encompasses a variety of comedic styles. From Wagstaff’s biting sarcasm to his wife, “Are you awake dear?” “No I’m sleepwalking”. To Beth the maid’s gentle flirtation with Phipps.
A large proportion of the comedy is good old-fashioned slapstick however. Roger Bingham and John Moran as Tubbe and Phipps, respectively get the best of the action. A particularly funny scene is watching Tubbe teaching Phipps to mount a sofa in preparation for being a jockey.
Their Laurel and Hardy routine works beautifully. I keep waiting for Bingham to say, “That’s another fine mess you’ve got me into, Phipps!” John Fereday also does well as the third spiv, Flash Harry, complete with cockney-geezer accent. Jenn Aspinall is endearing with her Somerset accent and catchphrase, “my dear”. Although appearing some 20 years later, one feels Fawlty Towers owes a debt to Chapman.
Director Peter Howard manages to get the comic timing just right from his confident players, with a complex set of sliding panels, knocking, opening doors and collapsing stairs! Finalement, bravo a Monsieur Ross Bannister qui a parle en francais pendant toute la piece!
Stephen Grigg


No photographs currently available.

Colonel Wagstaff Robert Taylor
Mrs Wagstaff Andrea Howard
Beth Jenn Aspinall
Susan Wagstaff Emma O'Neill
John Danby Stuart Rooker
Fred Phipps John Moran
Alfred Tubbe Roger Bingham
Flash Harry John Fereday
Albert Polignac Ross Banister
Sergent Fire Pam Bush
Radio Announcer Kevin Cheeseright

Director Peter Howard
Set design Peter Howard
Set construction Bryan Ashcroft
Bradley D'Roza
Hansel D'Roza
John Jakins
Paul Kelly
Peter Metcalfe
Laura Stone
Stage manager John Jakins
Sound Bryan Ashcroft
Paul Kelly
Lighting Hansel D'Roza
Properties Bridget Ball
Continuity Carolyn Heslop
Front of House Edwina Gascoyne
Ticket Secrataries Janet D'Roza & Ann Ward