Tunnel of Love at Titchfield Festival Theatre

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James George

Presumably this is penned by a member of the company and while a workable pastiche it lacks the finesse of the great French farce-writers.

The real problem lies in the direction. The pace is very un-farcelike and many a train could often be driven through the gaps between lines. The cast are also playing for laughs – they know they’re trying to be funny – and straightaway the humour is watered down.

There is some good work from romantic lead Alistair Smyth as Jean-Paul and his love-interest Camille, played by Lou Mannell. Mandy Watmough as the conniving Minette gives some lovely stuff.

Rick Barter as the hugely over-the-top Alberto Baldini needs to rein it in a fraction and the whole cast need to pick up those cues at twice the speed. Until next Saturday.