Harlequinade, Watlington

RICHARD PARR It is often said in theatre companies that there is more drama off stage than on. That is certainly the case in Harlequinade, a Terence Rattigan farce.

RICHARD PARR

It is often said in theatre companies that there is more drama off stage than on.

That is certainly the case in Harlequinade, a Terence Rattigan farce which revolves around Arthur Gosport and his wife, Edna Selby, who run a touring company, presented by the Watlington Players.

It is the opening night of their production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and the cast are taking part in last minute rehearsals, but the fictional drama is interrupted by real life drama when skeletons start appearing from Arthur's cupboard.

On Friday Peter Fiddling gave a wonderfully over the top performance as Arthur, the ageing actor, trying to convince everyone he is young enough to play Romeo.

Helen Fradley was hilarious as his wife Edna. In her blonde wig and from her lofty balcony, Miss Fradley was reminiscent of

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comedy experts Su Pollard and Penelope Keith.

The leading players were well supported by David Wagg as the frustrated stage manager, Eileen Haynes, as Dame Maud Gosport, Julie Mullin as Arthur's “lost” daughter and Jenny Lewis as the strong-willed Joyce Langland.

Farce is not to everyone's taste but the cast did suitable justice to their script.

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