Review: Cash on Delivery at the Old Library in Mansfield was ‘outstanding’

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CASH on Delivery was performed at The Old Library in Mansfield on a night of blizzards and snow.

The cold weather on Friday however was not enough to down-hearten the excellent Stagefright cast in performing Michael Cooney’s hysterical and riotous play.

The script is an extremely intricate work concerning Eric Swan, who is ‘conning the social’ and as a result, has to pretend to be a range of different people.

When different officials come around to Eric’s house to investigate the claims that he has been making, the characters are put on the spot.

This seems to be the easiest way to explain the extremely complicated script.

It is unfortunate for Eric who is trying to cancel all of his claims at the start of the play and only ending up with more and more money being bestowed upon him in what seems like a touch of social satire.

The characters have to take on increasingly extreme personalities as the play progresses and they get themselves in more of a muddle as the play goes on, with a range of investigators being at the house at once.

It is all at once chaotic, tense and extremely funny, mixing cross dressing, dead bodies, faked illnesses, confused characters and at some points a confused audience - but an audience that is never anything but engrossed by the script and the performances.

Belinda Salt directs a great cast in a play where timing is vital and becoming lost would be easy for the actors in the convoluted narrative.

The set looked fantastic and, as all of the action takes place in one room; there is no hanging about waiting for the set to change.

Jack Burrows plays the lead, Eric Swan, with the perfect aura of frantic worry that rubs off on the audience to makes you feel his plight and glad of your position as onlooker.

He is brilliantly accompanied by Keiron Teague who plays his flatmate Norman.

The comedy seems to form organically from the situations that the characters find themselves in: at some points you even knew what was about to happen but still found yourself holding your sides together in hysterics.

Overall it was an outstanding performance that left viewers with a sense of joy rarely imparted by a play of this kind.

Review by Jim Gibson