Intimate Exchanges

Walsham-le-Willows Village Hall (touring production)

Walsham-le-Willows Village Hall

This Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal production forms part of a community tour which culminates at the 2006 Bury Festival.

Alan Ayckbourn's comedy has all his usual twists and turns, with more than a hint of drama at times.

So we have two cast members playing five characters and no way do you get confused with their roles. Celia/Sylvie was performed by Esther Ruth Elliott, chopping and changing between headmaster's wife Celia and Sylvie the cleaner. Simon Spencer-Hyde was Toby the headmaster/Lionel the school groundsman with little or no skills, and finally he was Miles the family friend.

So without giving too much away, you have Celia, who is desperately unhappy in a marriage to a sarcastic heavy-drinking man. She is pursued by an infatuated but clearly dangerous potential lover, Lionel. Ayckbourn makes plenty of laughs especially Toby's ten reasons for drinking.

It was an excellent show performed in traditional village surroundings with plenty of opportunity of guessing the plot and probably getting it wrong.

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Hats off to both of the cast for their excellent chopping and changing, which was seamless.

t Further dates at www.theatreroyal.org

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