THEATRE Love's a Luxury by Guy Paxton and Edward V Hoile in  Stephen Joseph theatre reviews. REVIEWS

Love's a Luxury

The Round
Stephen Joseph Theatre
Scarborough
ENGLAND

It’s nice to go back in time

Set in the 1950’s this play reflected earlier times. Guy Paxton and Edward V Hoile first wrote the play in 1942, but it was not until 1952 when Hugh Wakefield and Elwyn Ambrose used the story for a film script that it became “Love's a Luxury”. The play has all the hallmarks of farce, and was just what was wanted after the years of war and the austere years that followed, it wants to make you laugh. It is slightly quaint, not knowing quite where it falls in time, but it is this feeling of being lost in time that allows it to work on the stage.

A theatre man, who seeks a refuge in the country away from the women around him, makes his way to Cranberry Cottage with his leading man. They are met by a young girl who is standing in for her mother who is the housekeeper. Add a crazy camper and allow the wife and girlfriend to arrive with the son and you have the ingredients for a farce. The Camper, Mr Mole, steals the show with what he does with his shorts, and is superbly played by Roger Sloman misunderstanding most things. Not to be outdone Jason Baughhan makes a great Mrs Harris when called on to do so whilst pursuing the housekeeper's daughter. The focus of the attention, Mr Charles Penwick, overdoes all the attributes of the theatre man and is nicely played by Philip York. The rest of the cast give accomplished performances and add to the overall enjoyment of the play, with Claudia Elmhirst as the theatre obsessed maid Molly Harris, Patrick Myles as the naive son, Dick Pentwick, Emma Gregory as the rather staid wife, Mrs Charles Pentwick, Roisin Rae as the flirty and frivolous girlfriend Fritzy Villiers, and Eliza Hunt as the real Mrs Harris. Mix these characters and they will produce interesting situations on the set designed by Pip Leckenby with direction of Sam Walters.

Nicely over the top this play satisfied the audience who went home well pleased with their evening at the theatre. © BA

“Love's a Luxury” is in repertory at the Round in Scarborough from the 3th June to the 3rd of July, 2004.

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