Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society

How The Other Half Loves 2013   

What the papers said....

Eastern Daily Press- Richard Batson

Farces can be confusing as couples get meshed in a web of tangled plots and misunderstandings. Add in a set which combines two houses in one, and a time-warping scene which hosts two parties on consecutive nights at once, and it could make your head explode - but not under the expert penmanship of Alan Ayckbourn.

The master craftsman who can magic mirth out of middle class foibles even adds a dash of tension and domestic bullying into an already heady mix.

The Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society's production succeeds because the six strong cast is without a weak link in delivering this unique comedy.

Graham Blyth is majestic as the bumbling old boss Frank Foster, while Pauline Lingard is delightfully aloof as his haughty wife Fiona whose brief affair lights the fuse for the fireworks ahead. Gary Clifton and Lucy Murphy rise to the meatiest parts which combine humour with household disharmony. He portrays the rude and oafish Bob Phillips - the object of Fiona's fling - while delivering some sarcastic wit that draw smiles as well as winces. She also adds angst to the antics as his downtrodden young wife.

But the real plaudits go to the innocent couple caught in the crossfire - fidgety nerd William Featherstone and his timid wife Mary played superbly by Carl Denis and Nikki Hever. Their finest moment comes as they simultaneously flit, with consummate timing, between the two chaotic dinner parties. The meals are a disaster but the comedy leaves you wanting seconds.

Cast

Frank Foster - Graham Blyth

Fiona Foster - Pauline Lingard

Teresa Philips - Lucy Murphy

Bob Philips - Gary Clifton

Mary Featherspoon - Nikki Hever

William Featherspoon - Carl Denis