You Can’t Take It With You by SEDOS

You Can't Take It With You
You Can’t Take It With You by SEDOS

It is always a pleasure to see what SEDOS have to offer next and I was excited to see ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ as it was a play that is new to me. You Can’t Take It With You is a play by Moss Hart and George S Kaufman which originally premiered in 1936. Despite the fact that it is over 80 years old the main themes of family and money remain as relevant today as they were 80 years ago.

You Can't Take It With YouThe play centres around the Sycamore family, a group of eccentrics who between them keep snakes for pets, refuse to pay income tax, want to become a ballet dancer/ a writer (yet lacking the talent to do so), make fireworks and enjoy playing the xylophone. However daughter Alice meets Tony Kirby, the Vice President of the company Alice works for which also happens to be run by his father. When the two families meet to celebrate the engagement, fireworks happen and going forward they need to decide what to prioritise.

The show was very well cast. I’ve found that SEDOS sometimes suffer with a lack of older members to play parts which result in members aging up but in this case they all slotted together well in this family unit with believable relative ages. Dara Seitzman played Alice’s mother, Penny Sycamore and her expressions were fabulous throughout and her reactions alone had me chuckling. Penny was a larger than life character and Dara embraced this and helped ensure that we knew why Alice was constantly cringing. Talking of embracing an eccentric character Sarah Berryman played Alice’s sister, the wannabe ballerina, Essie Carmichael. She flung herself into dancing her way through the show with awful flexed feet and a distinct lack of grace, all on purpose I hasten to add.

The contrast between the Kirby family and the Sycamore family was well served by Craig Karpel and Cathy Abbott who played Tony’s parents with just the right amount of stiff upper lip.

You Can't Take It With YouI could go through and single out each of the cast on their performances  but it is fair to say that each of their characters were wonderfully distinct and funny, yet you couldn’t help but feel for them, a balance well struck by all.

The costumes design was well thought out with nice touches such as  Penny’s artist attire looking even more zany when contrasted with Miriam Kirby’s evening gown. As for the set the use of the trap door to indicate members of family disappearing to work on the fireworks in the cellar was a nice touch. However the upper level of the house was underused and seemed to be there more to create an impressive set rather than for any dramatic purpose.

The play did take a while to set up the numerous characters and get moving. This of course was no fault of SEDOS or the director, Nick Mouton, more a criticism of the piece itself. It was only really immediately prior to the interval when the Kirby family arrived at the Sycamore’s home that I thought the piece entered its element, focusing on bonding, or not, with the ‘in-laws’ a feeling many can empathise with.

Overall this was an evening which demonstrated the strength of comedy actors/actresses SEDOS have within their company. Even if they play itself didn’t have the pace I would have liked the themes are one that helps this comedy to carry.

To buy tickets for You Can’t Take It With You or any of SEDOS’ upcoming shows visit their website.

If you liked this review you might also like the review of Reefer Madness and Little Women, both by SEDOS.

 

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