Theatre review - No Sex Please We’re British; Lowther Pavilion, Lytham
- Credit: Archant
Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot’s hilarious play spent 16 years on the West End and has since gone on to become one of the best-known farces on the theatre circuit. The Lytham Anonymous Players decided to bring the play to the Lowther Pavilion.
Lytham is getting a name for itself in the world of music and culture. Many top performers from a variety of arts have performed in the coastal town just outside of Blackpool and the increasingly popular Lytham Festival is attracting even bigger names which is really putting it on the map. But, it’s not just the professionals that are putting on a show...
Peter and Francis are enjoying married life, despite living in a flat above the bank that Peter works in. Their style is soon cramped with the arrival of Peter’s interfering mother, Eleanor, who arrives to stay, huge suitcase in tow. Peter’s friend and colleague, Brian Runnicles, tries his best to help Peter within his job resulting in various visits upstairs to remind him of appointments and tasks, etc. An easily controlled situation then suddenly takes a turn for the worst when a package of indecent photographs arrives at the flat by mistake and the threesome of Peter, Francis and Brian, in trying to do the right thing, end up causing all kinds of mayhem.
The story itself is slow to begin with and really takes time to get going, but that is also the beauty of it. It has to. It has to be slow, because, to give it an analogy, it is just like a car. You put it into first gear, slowly pull away and before you know it you’re doing over eighty miles an hour and this is just what the Lytham Anonymous Players do. No Sex Please We’re British is a classic farce with lots of high octane, quick scenes and utter mayhem and that is key to the performance. Bob Gemmell took on the directorial duties of this classic play and has justifiably done it the credit it deserves and honoured it by playing the story as it was meant to be played. There is great difficulty with working with a large cast and a large set with many fast action scenes that had to be nailed seamlessly with timings and delivery and this was absolutely perfect. It doesn’t take long to move into second gear and before we know it we are reaching top speeds and the laughs are aplenty.
Credit must go to a truly superb cast who all performed their roles brilliantly. The key to the play is to have the diversity of characters and every one of them was different which added to the appeal. Kieran O’Doherty took the lead role of Peter Hunter with huge development of character and the journey of his anxiety and paranoia displayed beautifully with some real laugh out loud moments. His new wife, Francis, was played very maturely by Emily Cartmell with execution of the role nailed to perfection. Ann Slack portrayed the role of Peter’s mum, Eleanor excellently completely nailing the character. Credit must also go to support from Roger Lloyd Jones who played the wonderful role of Peter’s boss, Leslie Bromhead, Chris Slack as Superintendent Paul and the utterly hilarious Glyn Morton who played Mr. Needham. As the pace got to top speed we were introduced to Susan and Barbara, played by Kathy Gemmell and Caz Thompson who were just great and added that something extra, but whose roles remain a surprise for now until you see the show yourself! Lastly, comes the performance from David Chalk of Brian Runnicles which had great comedic value combined with fantastic stage presence and delivery performing one of the best comedy roles I have seen.
Belly laughs can be a rare occasion, but this show had plenty of them. Once the curtains closed on Act One you couldn’t wait for Act Two to begin which was double to pace of the first half. A brilliantly written story full of laughs and innuendos has been performed to perfection by a drama group that should be extremely proud of themselves for giving us a thoroughly entertaining show and plenty of laughs.
And that is something that we all need.
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The show if performing nightly from Thursday 24th November to Saturday 26th November at 7.30pm at the Lowther Pavilion.
For more details and to book tickets please visit the website – www. lowtherpavilion.co.uk