Wildest Dreams - Black Ram Theatre Company
FRANK CLIFF Fisher Theatre, Bungay
Fisher Theatre, Bungay
Alan Ayckbourn is a master of the well-crafted comedy though Wildest Dreams, in a production by the young Black Ram Theatre Company, is a comedy with a darker side.
Four lonely misfits: Stanley Inchbridge, sex-starved schoolteacher, and his neurotic wife Hazel; Warren, a computer-obsessed schoolboy; and Rick, a covert lesbian, meet each week to play a fantastical board game. It's an obsession which allows them to escape a humdrum existence. Enter the charismatic Marcia, escaping from her violent husband.
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The action cuts between the Inchbridges' sitting room, Warren's attic, and Rick's basement; three sets in the theatre's small space makes it fairly claustrophobic, but it works well enough.
Austen Skate, Hazel's brother, is played by Louisa Theobald - effectively enough, but without quite enough pompous bluster. Ed Birch is splendid as Stanley Inchbridge and Melissa Ramadan does Hazel's long term drift to utter barminess very effectively. Tom Harthill is very funny as Warren and Rachel Porter suggests all Rick's nervous hesitancy.
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Rebecca Lewis-Smith as Marcia soon won the audience over. A good attempt by a young and new company at a difficult play.