In at the Deep End

Sheringham Little Theatre

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Remember Brian Rix and the Whitehall farces? Derek Benfield’s In at the Deep End at Sheringham Little Theatre belongs to that particularly British trouser-dropping school of farce.

At a North Norfolk health farm it is a Friday afternoon and the boss Gerald Corby (Graham Blyth) is preparing for a relaxing weekend away from work.

Unbeknown to him his predatory secretary Sandra (Laura Williamson) has designs on him and has also signed up at the spa.

Meanwhile a young couple the randy Rodney Watt – cue for a number of obvious jokes – and his girlfriend Linda (Hazel Warington) have booked into the spa for an illicit weekend.

Complication number one: by a coincidence that only farce can get away with, Linda turns out to be Gerald’s daughter. Hence confusions, false explanations and elaborately hilarious spiralling deceptions.

Now enter Marion (Sarah Westlake), suspicious of her husband Gerald and his secretary, wanting to know what is afoot.

The experienced Sheringham Players cast relished the farce, giving it their all. All the characters were well-drawn. David Moore’s set, combining bedroom and spa was economical and effective. In farce the pace is all. The slow beginning wound up well but could have become even more hectic. The constant opening and closing of doors worked with well-oiled precision. Directors Bernice Escott and June Cooper gave the audience on a chill June evening something to laugh about – and laugh they did!

In at the Deep End runs until Saturday June 16.

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