Rookery Nook

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

> Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

When it was first performed in London in 1926 and even today at Bury St Edmunds it fills a theatre and gets them laughing.

It is an upper-class farce of that period with plenty of what-ho's and jolly-hockey sticks, but that all adds to the absurdity and quaintness of this production.

What a colourful array of characters you see. Take for instance the battleaxe Gertrude (Fiona Battisby) who turns her husband Harold (Richard Henders) into a quivering wreck. His stage antics were at times clown-like, but his fear of her gave him more than jitters.

Gerard (Benjamin Davies) and Clive (William Mannering) were like grown- up public school boys, but without the cap and satchels.

The not-so-innocent temptress Rhoda (Jane Murphy) knew how to wind the men round her little finger with a flutter or two of the eyelids.

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With eight doors on the set you were bound to be in for plenty of action and in the second and third acts the pace got even faster, especially with 11 characters running about.

Don't always expect to keep up with the plot. The characters' expressions are enough to keep you on course.

This is a good British classic farce and the Oxford Stage Company's production was excellent and gave the audience plenty to laugh about.

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