STANLEY Bigley and Norman Harris are on the verge of selling up and retiring to the sun with their wives.
They run a haulage firm in Huddersfield and find themselves cooped up in a London hotel suite, waiting to seal the deal with two foreign businessmen, Kurt and Sven.
But this being a farce, nothing goes to plan. Their two guests both have raging libidos and ask their hosts to lay on some “female company” to entertain them before they sign on the dotted line.
Farces also work on the tendency for us humans to jump to conclusions and these is what happens when Kurt and Sven meet Stanley and Norman’s wives, Hilda and Rosie. They are o course stereotypes, a trademark of this popular theatrical genre.
I have, in the past, been put off by farces because of the irritating and shallow nature of the dialogue and while some of the humour misses the mark I found myself laughing out loud more than once, thanks to a pacy script and the superb direction of John Chidgey.
John coaxes some wonderfully engaging performances from Jonathan Black and Mike Shaw as Stanley and Norman and I also liked Sarah Reilly and Kim Armston as Hilda and Rose, with both characters undergoing a mini sexual re-awakening after 20 years in marriages that have becoming boring in the bedroom.
As Kurt and Sven, Matthew Foster and Nick Lowe are an absolute hoot, both displaying a sense of comic timing that is second to none.
When it comes to farces, John Chapman and Jeremy Lloyd are masters of their craft. I would really enjoy it if some or all of this cast worked together on a comedy that wasn’t as predictable as a farce as this theatre has the talent, in spades, to meet and conquer the challenge.
Until April 13. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ***