Charley’s Aunt**** (Menier Chocolate Factory, 3 Oct 2012)

Posted: October 16, 2012 in Theatre

Pre-conceptions were of a fossil of a play, a low brow farce by Brandon Thomas resembling Oscar Wilde but filleted of verbal wit and possibly  more fitted to be seen on a seaside pier than in a major London venue. That someone has different ideas becomes clear as soon as the enormous set, occupying almost half of the Menier’s space comes into sight. Thereafter, a top notch cast takes over and delivers an evening of unbroken hilarity. Matthew Horne gleefully gives us his “Gavin” in drag, making no concessions to femininity, and Jane Asher is suitably regal as the real aunt, but the entire company displays exuberance, superb comic timing and, as they hare around chasing each other, considerable athleticism. For those of us who aspire to more sophisticated tastes, there is no need to apologise for laughing so much; this is simply an occasion to sit back and go with the flow.

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