„Don’t misunderstand me“ by Patrick Cargill – The New Play at the English Theatre of Hamburg

 

„Come and join us for a nice hot cup a tea.“ Photo: Stefan Kock

This hilarious play is a present for all spectators who appreciate the inborn British sense of humour. As you know, Britain boasts a great tradition in comedies. Just think of William Shakespeare, the world’s greatest dramatist ever who not only wrote many tragedies, but also a number of most entertaining comedies. Just think of “Twelfth Night”, “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and last but not least “The Comedy of Errors,” to name just a few plays of Shakespeare’s enormous work. What about Patrick Cargill, the author of “Don’t misunderstand me”? Is it possible to compare his various comedies with those of a genius like the “Swan of Stratford?” Does that not sound more than a bit presumptuous? You may argue that William Shakespeare who died over 400 years ago, wrote about the problems of his contemporaries and that Cargill’ work – the author has only been dead for 26 years – has nothing to do with the plays of his famous colleague. You are wrong, since the comedies of both playwrights deal with the same subject – love. “Don’t misunderstand me” will teach you a lot about the errors and tribulations resulting from marital love, frustration and secret affairs.

A fatal business trip to Big Apple
„Surprise, suprise, I have just arrived from New York.“ Photo: Stefan Kock

Best-ager Charles Fleminge being a typical member of the British middle class, enjoys a brief affair with a pretty young American girl named Janey during a business trip to New York. Clever as he is Charles leaves neither name, address or telephone number with his naïve darling. Instead he disappears from Big Apple without leaving any tracks. That’s at least what he thinks. Although his behaviour does not at all correspond with his image as a perfect gentleman, Charles takes pride in his taking French leave. However, he has underestimated pretty blonde long-legged Janey who turns up out of the blue on his doorstep in England. Surprise, surprise! Charles is shocked at first sight, but keeps his stiff British upper lip. Nothing easier for him than to make his spouse Margery believe that the young beauty Janey is his brother Robert’s new wife. Good-natured Robert consents to help Charles by hiding Janey’s true identity from Margery. The deception works until the real Jane arrives. As to be expected, the tissue of lies results in a number of hilarious complications and misunderstandings. Charles cannot longer conceal his affair with Janey from his wife. There is no escape. Finally, he has to confess to Margery. As she herself is keeping a romantic secret, a happy ending is guaranteed.

”Master of the light touch”
„Darling, I really missed you.“ Photo: Stefan Kock

Patrick Cargill, the author of the comedy, was born in East Sussex in 1918 and died in 1988 at the age of 77, was a man of various talents. He was an actor and playwright in one who also acted on stage as a singer. In the sixties he began to perform on the TV screen and became soon very popular in the United Kingdom. He also appeared in films. Do you remember “The Countess of Hongkong” in which he co-acted with Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren? His work for the theatre includes , among others, “Ring for Catty”, and “Don’t misunderstand me.” His fans named him “A master of the light touch.”

Five gifted “Thespians”
„Hello, dear, I’ll call you later.“ Photo: Stefan Kock

For three of the actors “Don’t misunderstand me” is sort of a home match. The regular audience of the ETH already knows James Walmsbey, Jan Hirst and Stephen Chance, three wonderful. “Thespians” in whatever play they appear. Holly Smith is also well-known to us. She already appeared in a number of plays on the Mundsburg stage. However, she plays the part of angry tearful Jane for the first time. Welcome to Ola Forman to the English Theatre. And many thanks for your brilliant performance as pretty naïve Jaynie. We are looking forward to seeing you all again soon in Hamburg.

Final performance of “Don’t misunderstand me” on June 18, 2022.
Tickets under phone number: 040-227 70 89
or online under: www.englishtheatre.de

After the theatre holidays the English Theatre will start the new season with an adaption of Charles Dickens’ famous book “Great Expectations.”
We look forward to welcoming you to the premiere on September 1, 2020.

Autor: Uta Buhr

Vizepräsidentin Die Auswärtige Presse e.V., freie Journalistin, Reise, Wellness, Kultur (Theater, Ausstellungen)

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