Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Review: Men of the World

HAVE you ever been on a coach-trip holiday and wondered what the driver and his mate thought of you and

HAVE you ever been on a coach-trip holiday and wondered what the driver and his mate thought of you and the other passengers?

This quickfire comedy by John Godber reveals all.

Three drivers - Frankie, Larry and Stick - recreate a three-coach convoy “crinkly trip” from Sheffield to Heidelberg for a five-day break in the Rhine Valley.

On a stark stage with only a couple of luggage trunks and a box of hats for props, they bring a host of typical holiday-makers to life.

Slipping into satin headscarves they become the trio of old ladies, Sissy, Jean and Doris (nicknamed the Beverley Sisters), who pick over incessantly the merits of cheese sandwiches and sausages and the havoc they wreak on your digestive system.

Donning navy blue berets they transform into a trio of griping old men (the Marx Brothers) who spend hours staring at the road and bemoaning the paucity of their pensions.

There’s also Arsenic and Old Lace, a pair of well-to-do lesbians decked in flowing scarves, and Martin, the 30-something overweight mummy’s boy who takes them all by surprise on a night out in Brussels.

As the architectural wonders of the Western world and the silvery waves of the Rhine slip by virtually unnoticed, we become embroiled in the humdrum yet very entertaining minutiae of these people’s lives.

FalconGrange Productions have become one of the names to look out for in Henley’s annual fringe festival and this three-hander, directed by Redvers Lawson, had the capacity audience cheering, clapping and laughing heartily.

The acting, by the trio of Yvie Magee, Daniel Creasey and Rhys Owen, was of top professional quality and the comic timing spot-on. All three had mastered a variety of accents and slipped effortlessly from one character to another.

Yvie Magee immersed herself into every character with impressive ease.

It’s rare that you notice an actor employing their teeth to comedic effect in a variety of roles, but Ms Magee even managed this. Bravo FalconGrange.

Men Of The World is on at Henley Rugby Club until Saturday, and is a highly recommended and very entertaining night out.

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