Another terrific Noël Coward play. After seeing the excellent production of Private Lives I did not have high expectations of a Coward play I’d never heard of but it was quite local so why not? I am so glad I saw it. It is rare to see a comedy where the two main characters are women so I’m happy to report that the two main performances by Jenny Seagrove and Sara Crowe were stunningly good. It has the same three act structure as Private Lives: a first act to set up the awkward situation, a tour-de-force from the two central characters (plus one of Coward’s comedy maids – his weakest point) then a final act to (possibly) wrap things up. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but please see it for the two central performances alone. I gather it is touring now.
What a lot of fun! John Gordon Sinclair as Professor Marcus and Angela Thorne as Mrs Wilberforce are superb and Ralph Little is pretty good as Harry. If all the acting was at this level it would be perfect. The biggest applause in the first half was for the set which is brilliantly designed. I’ve seen many of the routines in pantomime but they were well performed. The standing joke of Mrs Wilberforce standing on Professor Marcus’s scarf was done perfectly. You never saw how it happened: it just did (and it played a crucial part in the plot). There’s so little happening in London in August, with all the serious critics up in Edinburgh, but this helped tide me over to September.