York Theatre Royal – Until Saturday 24th September. Reviewed by Marcus Richardson
When were married is a Priestly classic, most famously known for An Inspector Calls, the comedy first performed in 1938 made an appearance at the York Theatre Royal for a show case of great acting and greater laughs.
The play follows a group of 6 people who are all celebrating there 25th wedding anniversary, with all three couples getting married on the same day, or so they thought. Northen Broadsides teamed up with YTR to bring this show to life sporting a cast of 15 being directed under the wing of Barrie Rutter. The play mainly aimed towards the older generation but however is suitable to all audiences over 14, brought in a comedic night with the whole audience laughing at the events on stage and the couples squabbling and bickering over the 25 years of marriage.
With the play being set in Yorkshire it only seemed fitting that it would be done in York itself, most actors taking on a broad Yorkshire accent and showing the well-known Yorkshire attitude towards southerners. Gerald Forbes played by Luke Adamson a whimsical southern man who is in love with Nancy Holmes played by Sophia Hatfield, are wanting to get married. The three ‘married’ women, Maria Helliwell played by Geraldine Fitzgerald, Annie Parker played by Sue Devaney and Clara Soppit played by Kate Anthony, all together with their partners, Joseph Halliwell played by Mark Stratton, Albert Parker played by Adrian Hood and finally Herbert Soppit played by Steve Huison.
My personal favourite was Annie Parker as the small lady had a funny character and a great way of delivering lines that made everyone laugh, she was both equally funny and stern, getting on along with the women and looking down on the men. But all the actors were outstanding.
The costumes were very traditional 1920s and made for a classic taste that suited the staging and props to a T. The whole play being set in a room of the Helliwell’s the script made sure of nosy maids behind doors, and arguments between each couples in private. The first half was absolutely amazing with loads of things happening at once and with a chaotic pre-interval climax that will leave you going to the bar laughing your socks off, however the second half was good but it just went so quickly, and I wished I could watch more of the great play.
The only thing I really found was iffy was the character of Lottie a prostitute from Blackpool, I don’t know what it was about her; maybe the costume or the character itself, but the actress was very good and was amazing at playing a jolly tune on the piano. A very stunning and laughable performance, and I would recommended that anyone should go and see it at York Theatre Royal.