Climbing The Wall

St Edmund's Hall, Southwold

St Edmund's Hall, Southwold

In 2005 Andy Powrie and Bill Cashmore wrote a play for the company. It was hilarious and an immediate success. Andy Powrie's 2007 offering is disappointing in some ways, partly perhaps because of the expectation that it would match the previous achievement.

The new play is a parody of the film 'The Great Escape', featuring two elderly ladies in their quest to leave their retirement home by whatever means they can and, in Act Two, following their fortunes after the escape. There are plenty of funny moments and some effective comic writing; the acting and timing are as good as ever, but most characters never seem to develop beyond stereotyped caricatures more akin to the era of 1960s situation comedy.

The play undoubtedly sets out to be a comedy, but somehow laughing at the subject matter of the abuse of elderly and vulnerable people doesn't feel quite right.

Jane Evers and Jill Freud play the elderly ladies, and Jill Freud really was the redeeming feature of the evening. She is such a versatile comedy actress and in such good physical shape that her performance alone is enough to justify seeing this play. It continues until September 5.

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