Star-Spangled Girl

RICHARD BATSON Little Theatre, Sheringham


A lil' ole slice of American comedy has launched the il' Theatre's summer season.

The San Francisco flat headquarters of a political-protest magazine is the setting in a Neil Simon script rich in quick-fire one-liners as well as strong characters and a twisting plot.

Writer Norman Cornell (Sam Bern) is blown off his creative course with the arrival of a new girl next door – showing an interest which transgresses to the disturbingly obsessive. He is “rescued” by his flatmate, worldly, wise-cracking publisher Andy Hobart (Will Rowbotham) who uses his guile to broker a solution with the now-hysterical neighbour.

Sophie Rauschmeyer (Lauren Hassan-Leslie) is a super-fit, super-patriotic Southern belle and ex-Olympic swimmer, whose anger suddenly turns to an inexplicable attraction to Andy, despite the fact that she hates his “traitorous” magazine Fall Out.

The two men indeed “fall out” over the love-triangle before a happy ending, which saw a first-night crowd roundly applaud the cast at the final curtain.

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The trio of young actors brilliantly kept up the pace, characterisations and American accents throughout – though some of the 1960s American political satire was lost on a 21st century Norfolk audience.

However this funny, frothy play was an encouraging opening to a new era in summer repertory theatre at Sheringham which whets the appetite for a season delivering another seven plays before mid-September.

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