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Family tensions simmer in treat from Ayckbourn
ALAN Ayckbourn’s RolePlay, regarded as the best of his Damsels in Distress trilogy, is the theatre’s current production.
The play is set in the Riverside apartment of Justin and Julie Ann, a somewhat incongruous pair who are about to introduce their respective parents to each other at a dinner party before an important announcement.
Cue Alan Ayckbourn’s favourite scenario: that of the subtle undercurrents of family tensions when disparate people are flung together.
The Lazenby family comprises Justin: Bob Jennings, minus his panto beard, and Arabella, his mother, played by seasoned actress Viv Cunningham – although Arabella is more ‘pickled’ than seasoned!
The Jobsons are Derek, bigoted and brash, ‘We’re in garden centres, you know’, played by Paul Baston; his prim wife, Dee: Zoe Garner, making a welcome return to our stage; and their daughter, Julie Ann, suitably demure but hopeful: Lucy Oliver in excellent form.
And so to the aforementioned damsel in distress: one Paige Petite, played by Ali Hulford.
Ali has the best entrance imaginable, literally ‘dropping in’, uninvited, to the action. The raunchy former lap dancer is unlikely to go down too well with the prospective in-laws, however. Add to this her gun-toting minder and the scene is set for a pacy comedy.
David Muncaster as Micky is suitably gruff-voiced and menacing; more menacing, it would seem, than Micky ever was in the boxing ring.
Director Lesley Hornsby has assembled a strong cast of seven very talented actors.
Her meticulous direction, gained from years of experience in amateur and professional show business, together the back-up of all the KLT expertise, ensures that we are in for a treat.
RolePlay is on at Knutsford Little Theatre from March 20 to 23. Curtain up, 7.30pm, doors open 7pm. Tickets are £7, available by calling 01565 633000.