The Boyfriend

IAN COLLINS Southwold Summer Theatre at St Edmund's Hall, Southwold


Launching its 21st summer season at Southwold, Jill Freud & Company delighted a capacity first-night audience by bagging another date with The Boyfriend.

This silliest and sunniest of musicals, now even camper than Sandy Wilson intended back in 1953, takes us to a finishing school for young ladies in pre-war Nice.

Here Polly (Jenny Gayner) and sparky pals (Kitty Lucas, Amy Price and Louise Milford) seek dancing partners for a carnival ball and husbands by midnight at the latest. Well, they're already 17 so there's no time to waste...

Romance is also rekindling in a company of older hearts, as this comedy moves with many a song and dance from the ridiculous to the sublime.

With show-stoppers like I Could Be Happy With You, It's Never Too Late to Fall in Love and It's So Much Nicer in Nice (the latter splendidly performed by Daisy Moon's send-up of a cliché French maid), a classic musical continues to please.

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Perhaps this revival really belongs to veteran comic turns Sidi Scott and Gerry Hinks as Lady Sour and Lord Saucy.

The audience is in on the extra joke that La Scott has choreographed the show – no mean feat for 28 feet on the tiny stage of St Edmund's Hall.