Review: Getting On by Alan Bennett at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

The Norwich Players are presenting the Alan Bennett comedy Getting On at the Maddermarket Theatre. P

The Norwich Players are presenting the Alan Bennett comedy Getting On at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Sean Owen/Reflective Arts. - Credit: Sean Owen/Reflective Arts

Alan Bennett's witty play about politics (both Parliamentary and sexual) provides a very entertaining couple of hours at the Maddermarket Theatre this week.

As soon as the lights go up we are back to the early 70s, watching the shenanigans unfold within a brilliant set designed by James and Alison Utting, crammed full of lovely period detail.

It's a North London flat, home to MP George Oliver and his wife Polly (excellent performances by Trevor Burton and Fiona Fletcher).

Burton gives a tremendous Bennett-esque delivery to the lines, all the more impressive as he took over the pivotal role at the 11th hour when a cast member fell ill.

The MP is so self-absorbed he fails to see what is right in front of him – that his wife is having an affair with the handyman Geoff (Conor Swords) and that his eldest son Andy (Nathan Mills) is increasingly frustrated at his father's behaviour and attitudes.


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George just gets wound up about topics like the neighbour's dog leaving 'messages' outside the flat, and the ineptitude of the local taxi company.

Polly has more meaningful conversations with gay MP Brian Lowther (Jon Young) and her free-spirited mother Enid (Merle Colborne) than ever with her husband.

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Under Jen Dewsbury's direction the play goes at a nice brisk pace, punctuated with laughter at Bennett's wonderful wit.

by Viv Thomas

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