Drayton Arms Theatre
21st May to 1st June 2024

“Two beloved returning characters… A colonial outpost… A missing talisman…A tentative peace with the local tribe & lots of stuff that isn’t all worthy and important…

Hot on the heels of last-year’s HIT DEBUT PLAY, An Absolute Farce of a Murder Mystery (5* reviews and Best Comedy FINALIST in the London Pub Theatre Awards), Canonbie Productions presents This Season’s HOTTEST* new play – Don’t Take The Pith! *(Yes, a pun).

Set in the year Nineteen Hundred & Somerset Maugham, noted psychic Lady Susan Bloom and self-proclaimed ‘wit, rake and raconteur’ Lord Sebastian Hardcastle are summoned by The Crown to the colonial island of Not-Borneo. (It’s not a million miles away from Borneo, but it’s somewhere you definitely haven’t been and so you’re entirely unqualified to criticise our depiction of non-Western European civilisations).

The talisman of the local tribe has gone missing – and the list of suspects is made up of a bunch of hilarious and excellently-defined characters… is it Lord Peter de Meur, head of the British Outpost?
Or his wife, Lady Fleur de Meur?  Could it be an inside- job, orchestrated by powerful and drop-dead-gorgeous Headswoman of the local tribe – Adiratna? Or her suspicious First Minister, her “No. 1” – Kanaka? Or the equally exotic Doctor Frenchman (pronounced Fronkmain), a guest on the island, with hidden motives?  Or in true unexpected-Christie-style, the unassuming servant, Maud Pauper? Or – are things not quite what they seem? (Yeah, probably that)”

Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars

Once again, Canonbie Productions have created a hilarious farce of a play! With witty one-liners and observations peppered throughout. Laughing at characters, personalities, themselves with a punchy pacy sense of humour that’s exactly what we need!

A cast of 9 – large enough to fill a West End show these days – are all well cast in their various roles. The set and costume design by Helen Bang is spot-on! Gorgeous period designs.

Helen Bang’s direction keeps the pace up and has some brilliantly comedic moments of a more adult nature. Her portrayal of Lady Susan is superb. Peter Rae’s script references current political situations and includes industry jokes that occasionally break the fourth wall, channeling John Cleese with his high-energy performance. Ola Teniola’s Tribal Steward is delightully handsome and Billie Vee as the Tribal Queen portrays her character as someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. David Furlong as Doctor Frenchman does want to mess with the Tribal Queen, having been sat on and slapped, he rather relishes the idea of repeating the experience. Richard Rycroft as Lord Peter has the air of a Lordship toff and of course has a stutter and is a bit of a nit-wit. Laura Morgan as Lady Fleur of course wants to “take the air” with the Tribal Steward. Well who wouldn’t? Polishing it all off is the Maid, played by Abigail Dawn, making her stage debut.

Such a funny show! You definitely won’t want to miss this one!

Tickets: Click here

Photo credit: Wala Arts

Helen Bang, Rosalind Blessed, David Furlong, Laura Morgan
Peter Rae, Richard Rycroft, Billie Vee
Creative team: 
Written by Peter Rae
Directed by Helen Bang
Costume Advisor: Lizzie Thomson
Lighting: James Denny
Produced by Canonbie Productions: Peter Rae, Helen Bang, Abi Drennan
Trigger warnings:Potentially excessive cream costuming; historically awkward colonial views; contemporary lefty views on colonialism; actual sand on stage; excessive meta-anachronistic references; flashing/strobing lights (on a fringe budget); mild sequel vibes. Oh, and I think there’s a ‘bollocks’.

Canonbie Productions presents
Don’t Take The Pith!
by Peter Rae
Directed by Helen Bang

Drayton Arms Theatre
153 Old Brompton Road,
London SW5 0LJ

Box office: 020 7835 2301

May 21 – June 1

Social media:

facebook: @CanonbieProductions

Instagram: @anabsolutefarce_theplay