Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society

Habeas Corpus

Eastern Daily Press Review - 16th October 2008

There's plenty of rumpy pumpy in this saucy romp. This Alan Bennett farce is billed as containing "saucy seaside humour", and that more or less says it all and dates the play appropriately. While not quite as old as the Donald McGill postcards, the comic opportunities of the "permissive society" at the heart of this 1973 comedy, the trouser-dropping gags and suburban character stereotypes, all add up to a romp from which we have all moved on.

That said, it is to the credit of the cast that they can still ring out Bennett's wit from the set pieces and make them appear fresh - and the audience obviously still loves this am dram favourite. The plot centres on Arthur Wicksteed, played by a wicked Martin Rodwell, and his sex mad wife, Muriel - the excellent Chrissie Robertson - he is a GP and she is a typical WI wife. Both are bored with married life. It is a merry-go-round of sexual obsession and mistaken identities in which the splendid Peter Howell, as Canon Throbbing, and Yvonne Kidd as the mammary challenged spinster provide the main thrust, if I can use that word in this context.

But then, double-entendres are an enjoyable form of word play.           Pat Prekopp