Alan Bennett’s 1973 masterpiece sparkled across The Spring’s stage – courtesy of The Bench.
It’s an animated saucy seaside postcard; it’s rude, it’s vulgar, and it’s earthy.
Bennett’s hilariously funny view of life, love and sex is nicely balanced by the play’s hugely poignant and even tragic view of the human condition.
The pivotal role of Dr Wicksteed is nicely handled by Philip Amor and Sarah Parnell shines as his frustrated wife, Muriel. They handle the farcical dialogue particularly well.
Ingrid Corrigan is very effective as the Greek-chorus-like Mrs Swabb, Leigh Cunningham is unusually (but successfully) cast as Dennis and David Penrose’s Canon Throbbing is a lesson in playing comedy.
The cast as a whole need to be braver with the pace; this is farce in its purest form – slick, interlocking dialogue, people in and out and in again – and the whole thing could do with a bit more speed.
Some very slight stumbles in the dialogue also make for a bumpier road for the action to follow.
Jacquie Penrose’s direction is just what the doctor ordered and it’s all played on a beautiful crisp and colourful set.