KINDLY LEAVE THE STAGE
Phoenix Theatre Company at Christ Church
“Amusingly written with some very good twists.”
“A team play.”
But the dinner party and the marital rift are just a front, and even the best made play can come off the rails – it just takes one buckled line.
The crew and the front of house team are in the pub next door, so the front tabs stay open to allow us to enjoy the spats and tantrums.
These luvvies are pros, we're told, and there were some convincing caricatures from Liz Curley as the ASM, and Daniel Curley as an ageing actor laddie, tottering to the footlights and giving us his famous Lear.
I enjoyed Paulette Harris's star-struck, stuttering St John Ambulancewoman.
The two couples were: Chris Webb and Joan Lonario, who was a formidable bourgeois guest in the play and a coarse Red Peppery leading lady once the gloves were off, and Angela Gee as the divine Sarah with Paul Dogra as the troubled Rupert, who over-acted amusingly in the last few pages.
Other, better plays were never far from our mind: Noises Off, The Dresser, Private Lives, even Merry Wives with its famous buck basket. The profession may be in dire straits, but at least most actors can still speak. And you cannot afford so many real prompts amongst the spoofs, or speak of dropped laughs and then see them slip through your own fingers - “He'd ignite!”, one glaring example.
Still, as they said, there were no four-letter words. Quite a relief after Bouncers the night before.