Little Waltham Drama Group
Long after his hits with Plaza Suite and California Suite, Neil Simon checked back in to the hotel genre with London Suite, four short pieces which all unfold in an upmarket hotel overlooking Hyde Park.
Directed by Mags Simmonds and John Richardson, Little Waltham's welcome revival was entertaining from start to finish, with plots and characters as varied as the guests.
Ken Little played a successful novelist who doesn't understand money, quietly menacing as he confronts his envious accountant, portrayed with a nice sense of weary resignation by Glyn Jones.
“Why can't I meet someone like you again ?” a shattering moment of revelation from Karen Wray, absolutely convincing as the successful actress whose bisexual ex from Mykonos [Mike Lee] turns up looking for money. Nicola Ayris was nicely understated as her efficient PA.
The most successful piece was Going Home, perhaps because both Simon and actress Linda Burrow were working within their own idiom. She was superb as the garrulous shopaholic who has a memorable date with a Scotsman, hilarious as she related the gory details to her daughter [Susan Walker, giving a nicely complementary performance, natural and generous].
Burrow also contributed a telling cameo as the brisk Mrs Sitgood in the last play, a deliciously comic tale of back trouble, Cup Final tickets and Captain Jack Starling, starring that master farceur Richard Butler, with Sue Joyce as his unsympathetic wide, Andy Walker as a believable porter, and Bill Murphy as the bluff doctor.