Habeas Corpus

ALISON CROOSE West Acre River Studios


> West Acre River Studios

The roof of the smart new performance space at West Acre was in serious danger of being raised by the rip-roaring hilarity of Alan Bennett's classic comedy.

Two years ago the company used this play with virtually the same cast to launch their al fresco season. It was an evening full of mirth.

So it was a great challenge to adapt the play for the weatherproof tent where productions are staged in the round.

There is no hiding place - but Peter Wilson's inspired direction ensured a slick entertainment in which every pithy line could be favoured at every nuance exploited. The cast relished Bennett's masterly gems, which came so thick and fast.

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The space, adorned by only a rectangular carpet and two swivel chairs, worked extremely well for the production creating an intimate atmosphere, enhanced by light and sound effects, which totally absorbed the audience.

Peter Wilson set the standard playing the philandering doctor, with equally impressive performances from the rest of the cast, especially David Connor, Katherine Shaw, David Senton, Leah Spencer, Irma Fowler and not forgetting the inimitable Lesley Mardal.

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