We had seen this play advertised before outside London but had never had the chance to see it, so the Silver Travel Advisor awards ‘do’ seemed like a good opportunity to stay over! The Duchess Theatre is near Covent Garden and tickets were pre-ordered, plus dinner before the performance at Fire & Stone restaurant nearby (see restaurant review), online through “London Theatre”:https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/ so we received confirmation email straight away and tickets were posted out to us.
Dress circle tickets were £20 instead of £35 so definitely a good deal and there was a clear view from our seats in row E. It is a funny play with the performance starting while people were still strolling in to find their seats. Two support staff (actors) came upstairs to ask if we had seen a brown and white spaniel? Did we have any spare sausages or lumps of meat to try to lure the dog out? They also pointed out the large contingent of WI women from Devon who were bound to cause trouble, so lots of cheers of course!
It was a great set which duly fell apart as required, including the fantastic collapse of one end of the upper floor as two actors clung to desk, chair and potted palm as they slid perilously close to the audience. There was lots of slap-stick, some interesting characters with odd voices, and superb split-second choreography as large pieces of scenery collapsed.
Congratulations must go to the actress who was hauled through the window as she lay unconscious, literally man-handled as she was dragged (and dropped several times) by one arm and one leg below the curtain. A brilliant touch as a man’s hand appeared and discreetly pulled the hem of her red dress across to hide her knickers (three times)! It was a great performance well played by every member of the cast.