That one killed me. It really killed me. My cheeks are still aching. My make up was a mess. I cried laughing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as funny as that.
And I’ll fail at reviewing it. Just… go and watch it. You’ll love it.
It’s a play within a play. A group of terribly amateurish actors and stage hands tries to get a murder mystery on their stage: murder at haversham manor. But where’s Winston, the dog? Is he in the audience? He has a skin condition. It’s not contagious. Hopefully. Trevor, the stage manager, also has lost his Duran Duran CD set. Have you found it?
The damn door on stage doesn’t close properly, probably because they utilised a loo door from the gents room. The mantelpiece comes loose.
There’s a dead body on the sofa. His fiancé has an affair with his brother, the understudy. Who is understandably nervous but loves the attention of the audience and keeps winking at us, with a sly little smile. The elevator to the second floor gets wonkier with every trip until it breaks, the second floor isn’t on its best behaviour either. The props vanish. There’s no whisky, so the butler serves white spirit, which is highly flammable (yes, we have flames on stage).
The phone chord isn’t long enough. The second floor gives way. The fiancé is knocked out, a stage girl steps in. Don’t ask what happens when the fiancé wakes up again. The butler is stuck in a loop and keeps serving white spirit, pronouncing words he’s written in his hand hilariously wrong. The dead brother wasn’t dead at all, but now his brother is killed after a sword fight better than the one in Hamlet. The blades snap under the enthusiasm of the fighters, so with “swish, clank” they fight on.
In the end everyone is worse for the wear and the audience is breathless and gives a more than well deserved standing ovation. I’m sure I missed some of the gags just by laughing so hard. It’s a rare combination of intelligent witty dialogue and slapstick performances that rule!
Brilliant: Adam Byron as the understudy, Matthew Cavendish as Trevor, Bryony CorriganAs the duck faced fiancé, Leonard Cook as her brother and Harry Kershaw as inspector and director.
Stage door: yes, they’re all so nice. And cute. And oh lord, so very very young. And brilliant!