Fawlty Towers – The Play Review

Apollo Theatre – until 28th September 2024

Reviewed by Fiona Leyman

5*****

Those of us, of a certain generation, will remember growing up with the classic sitcom Fawlty Towers. The story of a small hotel in the coastal town of Torquay, where not everything goes to plan for its ill-tempered owner Basil Fawlty and his bossy wife Sybil. First airing in 1975, comedy genius John Cleese and Connie Booth created a timeless British series that has stood the test of time for nearly 50 years. Although this tv series was only 12 episodes long, many of us will remember watching re-runs on UK Gold. John Cleese has now adapted this beloved classic for the stage, bringing chaos, old school gags and iconic characters to a new audience.

Fawlty Towers – The Play combines three of the show’s most celebrated episodes to create a seamless adaptation. The Hotel Inspectors, Communication Problems, and my personal favourite, The Germans, have all been brought back to life with the same comical humour that we’ve seen on screen. What’s more, John Cleese has remained true to his word and has not created a politically correct version of his show. The farcical chaos that unfolds throughout remains true to its original form, eliciting feelings of nostalgia from the audience. I had John Cleese in my eye line the entire time, and it was lovely to watch him roar with laughter at jokes and sketches he wrote and has undoubtedly seen a thousand times. The same could be felt throughout the audience, who knew what was coming yet still found the chaos hilarious.

The casting for this play was exceptional. Anna-Jane Casey (Calendar Girls, Billy Elliot) as Sybil Fawlty was the night’s standout performance. You’d swear you were watching the real Sybil Fawlty onstage. Her demeanour, tone of voice, glares, and one-of-a-kind laugh were so on point that I had to remind myself it was Anna-Jane on stage, rather than Prunella Scales. Adam Jackson-Smith (The 39 Steps) managed to mimic Cleese’s Basil Fawlty to a tee. His dramatic movements, his high-pitched whine and the signature Hitler impression were faultless. It must have been strange for Cleese to sit there and watch Adam create a 2.0 version of himself. Another notable character came from much loved stage and screen actor Paul Nicholas (Grease, Cats, See No Evil) as the forgetful Major. With his years of experience on stage and screen, he depicts the Major with ease. Hemi Yeroham (La Cage aux Folles) plays the loveable bumbling Manuel. Forever being tormented and smacked round the head by Basil, Hemi, brings a comedic charm to this character. Rachel Izen (Les Miserables, A Chorus Line, Chicago) succeeds in to portraying the obnoxious, insufferable character of almost deaf Mrs Richardson and does so with minimal effort.

Liz Ascroft, Set and Costume Designer, deserves special recognition for transporting the audience into Fawlty Towers with her impeccable attention to detail. The smallest details were visible, right down to the 1970s pop-up address book (you know which one I mean!) on the reception counter. Her costume choices for each character, including Sybil’s well-known purple two-piece suit and Basil’s string vest, made these familiar characters stand out on stage.

Fawlty Towers – The Play is the epitome of nostalgia, exquisitely written and expertly adapted for the stage. John Cleese has stayed true to the original form that we all love, masterfully adapting this beloved television series for audiences to reminisce about better days.

JUDI DENCH VISITS THE WATERMILL FOR AN EXCLUSIVE, ONE-OFF FUNDRAISING EVENT

JUDI DENCH VISITS THE WATERMILL

FOR AN EXCLUSIVE, ONE-OFF FUNDRAISING EVENT

Fresh from its success at The Stage Awards where it was named Theatre of the Year, joint CEOs Artistic Director Paul Hart andExecutive Director Claire Murray, and the whole team at Newbury’s The Watermill Theatre were thrilled to welcome Dame Judi Dench on Friday 10 May for exclusive, one-off fundraising event – Shakespeare: Judi Dench in conversation with Brendan O’Hea

The event saw Dame Judi Dench give a unique insight into her illustrious career, alongside her friend, actor/director Brendan O’Hea (who directed Under Milk Wood at The Watermill in 2017). Judi shared Shakespearean stories and anecdotes from her illustrious career in the intimate auditorium, against the backdrop of the theatre’s 2024 Shakespeare production – Much Ado About Nothing. Judi also spent time with the acting company, hearing about their experiences and sharing her own insights and stories.

Tickets sold out within hours of going on sale, and the whole event raised over £20,000. The money raised will go to support the theatre to continue to work with local communities and produce a world class programme on stage.  

The amount raised will be subject to match funding from the Watermill Funding Alliance, meaning every £1 raised through ticket sales and donations will be quadrupled. This Funding Alliance brings together Greenham Trust, Bernard Sunley Foundation, Englefield Charitable Trust and Miss Lawrence Trust via The Good Exchange.

Artistic Director Paul Hart said, “We were delighted to welcome Dame Judi Dench and Brendan O’Hea to the Watermill Theatre. It’s so generous of them to give up their time to support our fundraising following a complete cut to our Arts Council grant. 

It was particularly fitting that Judi came and spoke about her career of performing Shakespeare on the set of our current production of Much Ado about Nothing. Her recent book highlights the importance of regional theatre in giving opportunities to actors of all ages but particularly to young performers. 

So many actors have gone on to great things having had early opportunities at the Watermill including Ncuti Gatwa, Johnny Flynn even Sean Bean! And that’s not to mention all the people working backstage and in our creative teams. 

Judi and Brendan have long been supporters of the work at the Watermill and their help has come at an invaluable time for us as we continue to navigate the future without any statutory funding.”

Claire Murray, Executive Director commented, We are indebted to Dame Judi and Brendan for providing this fantastic boost to our fundraising, and to our partners in the Greenham Trust Funding Alliance who have pledged to match every penny we raised. Dame Judi is such a passionate advocate for the arts, for the importance of introducing young people to Shakespeare and for the value of regional theatre. The funds raised through this event will help us to continue to create the work that she, and we, believe in so passionately.”

The 39 Steps Review

Festival Theatre, Malvern – until 18th May 2024

Reviewed by Courie Amado Juneau

5*****

Everyone knows The 39 Steps, the Hitchcock classic from 1935, right? This is a stage adaptation of that – well, nearly: it’s a comedic take on the original that pays homage to it whilst feeling remarkably modern.

The opening scene introduces Richard Hannay (Tom Byrne) wallowing in his terminal boredom until the notion of a trip to the theatre hits him. A decision that unleashes epic repercussions. Mr Byrne has just the one role but it’s a corker! He portrays the dashing, (at first) reluctant hero with a zest that’s truly infectious – giving us just the right combination of exasperation, romance, fear, grit and determination that the character demands. His timing was exemplary with a marvellously deft slapstick touch; especially his athleticism extricating himself from under corpses and quick window escapes.

Safeena Ladha gave us three beautifully fleshed out characters – from the wonderfully exotic Annabella with her hilariously impenetrable German accent and flamboyant death scene, Margaret’s naive dreamy romantic and Pamela, who Hannay understandably falls in love with. Ms Ladha showed a depth and range that was commendable. A talented actress providing the dramatic (i.e. straight) gravitas the play needed alongside her fair share of the comedy.

What to say about Eugene McCoy and Maddie Rice (billed as Clown 1 and 2 respectively)? They had so much to do, in so many different areas, that the mind boggled. Basically, they played every other role. Accents you could use to grate cheese, quick fire costume changes (especially hats) and tearing around the stage like a young Mick Jagger all left one reeling in giddy delight. The term “small but perfectly formed” has never been more true than of this sensational cast.

The stage scenery was a masterclass in creating a whole world with very little whilst utilising the actors physicality. Conjuring a train with a few boxes and some lighting was a good example of this! There’s a hilarious chase across the train roof which I particularly enjoyed. Evoking the moors was another highlight – especially being caught on the gorse bush. I won’t spoil the surprise with what happens (because it’s superb) but the chase involving planes and an extra special local celebrity guest appearance was hilarity personified.

With all this tomfoolery going on it was remarkable that our two “leads” managed to create a genuinely believable couple and their burgeoning romance was perfectly pitched and stylishly unfurled. Kudos to them and director Maria Aitken. The radio announcer (acting very much as narrator) was another highlight – especially his running commentary on Hannay’s moustache.

Some lovely in jokes with and name-dropping of many Hitchcock works will keep all fans of the Master of Suspense chuckling and nodding knowingly. My favourite was the Psycho music which is always a pleasure to hear.

This is a joyous romp through this classic that is guaranteed to tickle the most jaded tastebuds and is just the ticket to bring some much needed sunshine into a year sadly lacking thus far in that area. Worth watching just for the Mr Crocodile scene alone. Lovers of suspense, comedy and, well, love will love this production. Catch this show while you can, you won’t regret it. Essential viewing.

Party Games! Review

Windsor Theatre Royal – until 18th May 2024

Reviewed by Liberty Noke

2**

Party Games! Is a new political comedy written by Michael McManus who has previously worked alongside politicians Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher so he is well placed to write about politics. The play is set in the year 2026 and opens with the newly formed “One Nation” party winning the election although they are 6 seats short of a majority. We see characters John (Matthew Cottle), Luke (Jason Callender) and Anne (Debra Stephenson) receive the news before being rushed into 10 Downing Street.

The staging is simple with the Prime minister’s desk stage right and a big front door to number 10 at the back. There are also doors to either side of the stage. The background of the stage is simple grey wallpaper which is made to reassemble the union flag.

In number 10 we meet deputy prime minister Lisa (Erica Tavares-Koussi), Candice (Krissi Bohn) and the prime ministers advisor Seth (Ryan Earley). Early plays the role in quite an over the top manner he has a lot more energy and is dressed more casually than the other character which really makes him stand out. He is overly enthusiastic always bouncing about the stage. He is obviously trying to influence the prime ministers decisions. Cottle plays John the prime minister who appears to be completely unqualified for the job- an obvious caricature of recent prime ministers and he does have a lot of funny one-liners which did make the audience chuckle. However in a political comedy such as this it would have been nice to have some cleverer more complex humour. There are other obvious references to recent politics for example Liz Truss and the Lettuce so the writing does play to people’s knowledge of recent events and the audience did find this funny.

There was an instance where Candice (Krissi Bohn) corrects the pronunciation of her name as she is of Caribbean decent so uses that pronunciation and another moment where a protester is mentioned and their pronouns are they/them. Both of these are very relevant at the moment and could have been bigger moments in the play.

There is an Alexa style technology introduced called Medianne voiced by Debra Stephenson and this does add humour to the piece as we can all relate to being frustrated by technology but again a lot of it’s jokes where obvious and child-like.

While I did enjoy this play and commend the performance especially that of Erica Tavares-Koussi who understudies the role of Lisa and was announced at the last minute, I feel like there was a missed opportunity here to make a larger political statement or at least write some more complex jokes. A lot of the jokes were simple and while the audience did laugh, not all of the jokes landed as I imagine they were intended. I also found the plot to be lacking substance. Overall an enjoyable play with some funny moments.

Bonnie and Clyde Review

Nottingham Theatre Royal – until Saturday 18 May 2024

Reviewed by Amy V Gathercole

4****

Richard Davenport

“If you’re seeking a departure from jukebox musicals, enjoy drama, and crave a different type of show, Bonnie and Clyde is for you”.

Bonnie Parker (played by Katie Tonkinson) and Clyde Barrow (portrayed by Alex James-Hatton) are the infamous and reckless couple who raised hell across America in the 1930s.

Their electrifying chemistry is evident from the outset, a vital element in a fast-paced and racy story like theirs. Intimate scenes require the audience to believe in their desperation and desires and both actors convincingly deliver throughout the drama.

The narrative takes its time to establish characters and circumstances, but once it steps on the gas, it hurtles forward at breakneck speed. The love story between Bonnie and Clyde unfolds against the backdrop of crime and violence, yet remains tender and captivating.

Bonnie dreams of fame, fortune, and becoming a Hollywood actress. When these two dreamers meet, attraction and curiosity ignite between them. Clyde, a young man down on his luck, idolises outlaws like Billy the Kid and Jesse James. His love and skill lie in ‘driving like the devil’ and he has no intention of leading a mundane life, regardless of the consequences or casualties.

The show delves into family relationships and the struggles of Depression-era USA. We meet both sets of parents, who simply want their children to be safe and return home. However, Bonnie and Clyde rebel against their parents’ small-town lives, choosing a path of danger and excitement.

The decision to reveal the end of the play at the start of the performance can often be considered controversial, but it works well here. The immediate urgency grips the audience even before they meet the key characters. While their eventual fate looms, the fun lies in discovering how they got there.

After a psychological and physically damaging stint in jail, Clyde rapidly progresses from hold-ups at local stores to robbing banks nationwide. Bonnie’s unwavering love for him leads her to follow wherever he goes, especially when her name starts appearing in the papers—her dream of stardom finally within reach.

Clyde’s brother Buck (Sam Ferriday) and his religious wife, Blanche (Daisy Wood Davis, my favourite performance in the whole show), remain a constant presence in the background. Blanche promotes godly family life, while Buck struggles to leave Clyde’s fast-paced world and be the man she needs him to be. Davis’s rendition of “You Love Who You Love” and the reprise with Tonkinson evokes shivers.

In the current world of cost-conscious theatre and touring, Bonnie and Clyde features outstanding video projections by Nina Dunn. Her work vividly captures the drama and details of Depression-era America, enhancing the storytelling in a unique and impressive way.

The show combines toe-tapping numbers with beautiful, heart-wrenching songs and duets. Its popularity is evident as it continues touring the UK until October 2024, having left the West End to huge applause.

If you’re seeking a departure from jukebox musicals, enjoy drama, and crave a different type of show, Bonnie and Clyde is for you.

Artist Development – Graeae’s Beyond Programme – Hull Truck Theatre – 2024

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Invitation issued to Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists across the country. 

Hull Truck Theatre have once again joined other theatres in signing up to the Graeae’s BEYOND programme as the initiative enters its fourth year. Beyond has supported 60 Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists in developing their careers, taking on new challenges & building successful connections.

Beyond is back this year helping to develop greater access to regional opportunities across England ensuring Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists are at the forefront of new and emerging work. Hull Truck Theatre recognise the immense value of their intersectionality across their communities, which includes Black, Asian, Global Majority, migrant, and LGBTQIA+ artists, which is why the approach is to be as bespoke as possible for each individual artist on the programme.

Beyond participant said:

“The industry is saturated with full-on training opportunities, and I find that quite exhausting. What sets Beyond apart, and what makes a difference is it is bespoke… designed for you.”

Graeae have teamed up with Hull Truck Theatre as well as seven other leading venues across England; Octagon Theatre in Bolton, Nottingham Playhouse, Cast in Doncaster, Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot, Everyman in Liverpool, Derby Theatre and Mercury Theatre in Colchester. Together they are creating a national network of artistic support and development for Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists.

As part of the scheme, Hull Truck Theatre will offer 18 months of bespoke support including: mentoring, practical resources such as industry specific workshops, creative spaces, micro-bursaries, network opportunities and support with funding applications. 

BEYOND acts as a bridge for artists to reach organisational leaders and national venues, to enable them to realise their creative potential and have their voices heard. The aim this year is to develop greater access to regional opportunities across England, designed to support artists who could most benefit from alliances with regional theatres in the North, North East, North West, East Midlands, and Essex. This could also include artists who might live, work or have a deep connection with any of the areas where partnering theatres are based: Bolton, Prescott, Nottingham, Derby, Hull, Liverpool, Doncaster or Colchester.

Beyond participant said:

“The support [from venues] has been immense. Knowing that there is an interest in disability art in the mainstream and that there are theatres who want to make contact is incredibly powerful.”

Graeae has a designated Access Manager who will oversee the provision of access for all the participating artists both in the application process and once artists are on the programme itself. 

The scheme is open to applicants over 18 years of age. All that is needed is a commitment to creating a live performance (online or in person) as a performer, writer, director, producer, designer, or technician. You must be based in England and live, work or have a deep connection with any of the areas where our partner theatres are based. There are 20 places available to Deaf, disabled or neurodivergent artists who want to create live performance, develop an idea, find new collaborations, be seen and heard, but cannot get beyond barriers to developing or continuing their practice.

Graeae appreciate that as disabled artists, there may have been different paths taken within a career, the terms new, emerging, mid and established are not always easy to define, therefore it is encouraged that artists at all stages to apply. However, applications from full time students (or part time postgraduate students) are unable to be accepted.

For more information and to apply please visit: https://bit.ly/4bGKlxZ

Final date for submitting Expression of Interest form is midnight on Thursday 27 June 2024.

Pretty Woman: The Musical Review

Leeds Grand Theatre – until Saturday 25th May 2024

Reviewed by Lauren Fordham

5****

Pretty Woman: The Musical is based on the much-loved 1990 film of the same name about a businessman, Edward Lewis (played by Oliver Savile in the musical) who meets and falls in love with a prostitute he hires, Vivian Ward (played by Amber Davies.)

The show preserves all the well-known lines from the show and Davies delivers them with a knowing humour, the ‘I have a runner in my pantyhose/I’m not wearing any pantyhose’ scene being particularly funny coming from the 2017 Love Island winner, who like Vivian has proven her talents since. But unlike film, the strength of a musical lies in its songs and its singers, and it has some stupendous singers.

That Davies is one is evident from her first number, ‘Anywhere But Here’, although in my opinion she doesn’t get to give full rein to her voice until the belting, ‘I Can’t Go Back,’ in the second half, but the power she unleashes is breathtaking.

Natalie Paris is both no-nonsense and nurturing as Vivian’s friend and fellow prostitute Kit De Luca, in turns exhorting her to take advantage of Edward’s wealth ‘there ain’t no limit on a platinum card/he can afford it, let’s hit him hard’ but also encouraging her to dream and value herself: ‘you don’t belong on the Boulevard, you’re so much more than you think you are.’ In her maternal delivery of these lines I see echoes of Paris’ previous role of Jane Seymour in Six and she proves that Kit De Luca, while streetwise, definitely does not have a heart of stone. Rodeo Drive reveals Paris’ flair for rock, and my only complaint is that, like Six, it is over too soon.

Lila Falce-Bass makes a dazzling debut as opera singer Violetta, blowing me away with her powerful, assured vocal that belies her hitherto lack of professional experience. I’m sure she will have casting directors calling after this performance

Oliver Savile makes Edward Lewis the supportive sugar daddy anyone would love, particularly as he encourages Vivian to have confidence in herself in ‘You’re Beautiful’, an anthem I will definitely be adding to my mental health playlist.

David Rockwell’s scenic design and Kenneth Posner and Philip S Rosenberg’s lighting design skills work well together to evoke both the seedy dim lights of Hollywood and the opulence and oceanic view of Edward’s Beverly Wilshire penthouse.

Though the film made stars of its leads, Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, for me the musical’s stars are subsidiary characters Guilio the bellboy, played by Noah Harrison, and Happy Man/hotel manager Mr Thompson, both played by the vibrant and versatile Ore Oduba.

Compared with Oduba’s clear campness, Harrison’s humour is somewhat hidden under a bushel but hilarious when he catches Vivian’s wig in her hotel room, hides it and then proceeds to dance with it, and that’s only one of many scenes I don’t have the word count to feature. They mesmerise the audience with their movement, the standard of which transcends even Oduba’s Strictly background.

The work of cast and crew combines to give a truly romantic, ravishing production. Buy your tickets now, or you’ll be making a Big. Huge. Mistake

DROP THE DEAD DONKEY: THE REAWAKENING! REVIEW

PLAYHOUSE THEATRE, LIVERPOOL – UNTIL SATURDAY 18TH MAY 2024

REVIEWED BY MIA BOWEN

4****

The award-winning satirical comedy ‘Drop the Dead Donkey‘ that ran over 6 series from 1990 – 1998 has been reimagined for a 2024 audience in the stage play ‘Drop the Dead Donkey: The Reawakening!‘ Being old enough to remember the original show, I attended with my fellow Gen X friend who was eagerly anticipating the play for a dose of nostalgia. It certainly lived up to our expectations.

The stage production in 2024 brings back some familiar faces from the iconic TV show. The cast includes Stephen Tompkinson as Damien, Neil Pearson as Dave, Susannah Doyle as Joy, Robert Duncan as Gus, Ingrid Lacey as Helen, Jeff Rawle as George, and Victoria Wicks as Sally. Joining them are two new characters, Julia Hills as Mairead and Riya Rajeev as Rita, who both adeptly take on the challenge of joining this established group of characters. Sadly, two former cast members, David Swift who played Henry and Haydn Gwynne who portrayed Alex, have passed away and were respectfully remembered during the show. The production is directed by Derek Bond and written by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, the creators of the original hit Channel 4 comedy series that won BAFTA and EMMY awards.

Without revealing too many details of the plot, the new adaptation takes us back to the characters thirty years later. They are now starting a new 24-hour television news channel called Truth News in the ever-evolving world of modern broadcasting. The play begins in a high-tech, twenty first century news studio, brilliantly designed by Peter McKintosh, with nostalgic clips from the original TV series shown on a screen above the stage. The screen is cleverly used to showcase the public’s social media reactions to the failed launch of the news channel. This launch results in a national treasure’s reputation being damaged and a beloved newsreader being injured live on air.

Without a doubt, the show’s most humorous moments stem from sharp, contemporary satire expertly executed by its talented cast. The witty observations about life, eccentric characters, and astute political commentary provide an abundance of belly laughs and current affairs humour.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS REVIEW 

 Edinburgh Festival Theatre – until 18th May 2024

 Reviewed by Rachel Farrier

4****

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Ballet productions can almost be guaranteed to be a joy and a treat, and this magical, transporting production of Edward Scissorhands proved to be no exception. 

Many will be familiar with Tim Burton’s 1990 gothic romantic film upon which the ballet is based, and the tale of the acceptance but ultimate rejection of an individual who is ‘different’ to the tight knit, small town community in which they find themselves certainly feels as relevant now as it did then. The performers comprise 6 families of 2 parents (including one same sex couple for this production) and 2 kids, and the uniformity which excludes Edward is a recurring theme throughout. 

The choreography is sublime, and as ever with New Adventures, glides effortlessly between classical ballet, jazz and modern styles. I especially enjoyed the full company sequences at the summer barbeque and the Christmas Ball  – there was an almost palpable energy fizzing its way from the stage to the audience. The gorgeous costumes in these scenes add to this sense of vitality (think the best of 1950s sumptous designs with satin and tulle and sharp suits, alongside the uniform of American movie childhood: baseball outfits and cheerleader style dresses). 

Lez Brotherston’s exceptional costume and set designs arguably bring as much to the ballet as the dancing, creating the atmosphere and vibe of small town, family-centric, identikit-home mid 20th century America. A dream sequence in which Edward has ‘normal’ hands and dances with Kim Boggs amongst the park topiary is visually stunning as dancers are dressed as topiary themselves (it did not look as if they could possibly see out of their full-cover costumes, but surely they did?!). 

Liam Mower in the titular role beautifully conveys the full range of Edward’s developing emotional states, and the moment in which he first interacts with a regular human in Peg Bogs (whose love and acceptance are beautifully portrayed by Mami Tomotami), as she wipes blood from his face, is in particular deeply moving. 

For me, the stand out dancer of the night was Holly Saw as Kim Bogs –  both the incredible energy and execution with which she danced, and the achingly beautiful way in which she conveyed the arc of her character’s maturing emotions were exceptional and felt like the sentimental heart of the show. The second sequence in which Kim and Edward dance together including lifts which use no hands (due to Edwards blades) is spine-tingling and really quite extraordinary.

Nicole Kabera and Luke Murphy also deserve special mention as the Monroes, providing, by turns, glamour and comedy which light up the stage and brings a warm connection with the audience.

This is ballet ++ and the standing ovation at the end of last night’s performance was testament to the way in which production had captured the hearts of its audience.

2:22 A Ghost Story Review

Hull New Theatre – until 18th May 2024

Reviewed by Dawn Bennett

5*****

Normally I’m a bit nervous watching scary shows, television programmes or films. I’m definitely a person who would be found hiding behind their hands or a cushion. But 2:22 A Ghost Story was so good I didn’t want to miss a thing!

Writer Danny Robins story is of Jenny (Fiona Wade) her husband Sam (George Rainsford) who have moved into an old house along with their baby daughter. The house is a doer-upper and they have been doing a lot of work on it. Jenny is spooked by being in the house without Sam who is away for work in Sark. At 2:22 in the morning for the last 4 days the baby monitor has picked up footsteps and crying in their daughter’s bedroom and when Jenny goes into the room there is no one, apart from her daughter in there. Jenny hasn’t been able to contact Sam, so when he arrives home saying that he lost his phone she is not pleased to say the least, especially when he doesn’t believe what has been happening. Sams friend from University, Lauren (Vera Chok), and her builder boyfriend Ben (Jay McGuiness) arrive at the house for dinner, to meet the baby and see what they have done to the house. Jenny tells the others what has been happening at 2:22 every night, they seem to be very sceptical and after a lot of persuasion and some scary goings on they decide to stay up to see it happens again.

The set designer (Anna Fleischle), lighting designer (Lucy Carter) and sound design (Ian Dickinson) really set the atmosphere, which was spooky and sometimes downright terrifying and made me and the rest of the audience jump more than I thought it would! What with screams, darkness, pulsing red lights around the stage there was nervous laughter from the audience, after each jump scare, and a lot of that was from me!

The acting was brilliant and the actors made their characters very believable. They are a very strong cast and the 4 of them (along with 2 other company members Aaron Dart and Rachel Morris) were on stage for most of the production.

I will not spoil this superb show by telling you what happened, you really need to go and see it yourself. I cannot recommend this production enough; it keeps your attention from beginning to end and I can guarantee you will be talking about it long after you leave the theatre, but please don’t give away the ending… as the company says “Sshh don’t tell” ….