Relative Values

Gresham's School Auden Theatre, Holt

The piano played A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square on a balmy summer evening.

The audience gathered together in the foyer of the Auden Theatre at Gresham's School. Yes, Summer Rep Theatre had arrived in Holt as Bridge Theatre brought their 13th Summer Season to North Norfolk.

What could be better suited for the occasion than a Noel Coward comedy?

Although Relative Values was set in 1951, the play created a pre-war world of an aristocratic country house, cocktails, witty dialogue and loyal servants. The play began sedately but picked up drama and pace.

The whole action was dominated by the commanding presence of Pamela Buchner as the Countess who conveyed fully the wit and compassion of the character. Justin Ellery gave a convincing portrait of her son and Karen Henson looked and played the part of the glamorous starlet Miranda Frayle. Oliver Hume as the butler was splendidly starchy but needed sometimes to underline the wit of his lines.

This was old-fashioned comedy made up of the kind of witty one-liners for which Coward became known as the Master. The audience loved it.

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