Relatively Speaking

ALISON CROOSE River Studios, West Acre


River Studios, West Acre

When Alan Ayckbourn wrote this hilarious masterpiece, his aim was to cheer up Scarborough holidaymakers on wet afternoons.

What he achieved was to create uproarious hilarity among audiences in all sorts of weathers the length and breadth of the land.

The West Acre team first staged the play early last year in their studio theatre. It was such a success they used it to guarantee a highly entertaining start to their 2006 summer season.

The same cast - Simon Wakefield, Karen Bates, Irma Fowler and Clive Hadfield - returned to face the challenge of ensuring those subtle intonations and carefully raised eyebrows would create just as much amusement with the play staged in the round in their covered summer arena.

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Under Andy Naylor's meticulous direction, the audience could savour every twist and turn of Ayckbourn's ingenious dialogue with its many double entendres resulting from the misunderstandings and mistaken identities.

The initial confrontation of Greg (Simon Wakefield) with the woman he mistakenly believed to be his future mother-in-law (Irma Fowler) produced the best comic moments.

But all four actors capitalised on the opportunities posed by their keenly-observed characters to ensure that the laughter never abated.

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