"have a jolly good laugh"
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 16/04/18

Benjamin Alborough has written a really funny play. Something that you can come out feeling happy, feeling you’ve have a jolly good laugh. The author is a young man obviously obsessed by the Art of comedy and very very good at it. Writing and performing.

He and his director both realise the importance of music to get an audience into the right state of mind. The atmosphere is set up with terrific jazz as we enter the theatre and as we leave we have ragtime (Everybody’s doin’ it)

What is so astonishing about this play is that it very closely resembles the kind of comedy he is far too young to remember, but he has obviously studied The Goons. He and his director Benedict Philipp have a clear mental connection and they have collected some really talented actors – just three plus Alborough himself – who can exactly reproduce the ridiculous characters. The setting is early twentieth century and the author plays Eddie Spangler – a kind of Bertie Wooster in blazer and shorts, with Eoin McAndrew as the very perfect and loving butler who knows the answer to everything A kind of Jeeves taking a step further in his love of his master.

Aiden Change is Lord Wiggins a wild over camp guy who is love sick over Emily Rose - an off stage maiden. And Edward Spence is Lord Biggins who is the most evil villain ever to tread the boards. In addition to their named roles the actors play several others. There is a fun reference to Burt Kwouk when Aiden Cheng plays a Haltemprice policeman. He is also described in the script as blonde and blue eyes when he is so obviously Chinese.

But clever as the cast are, nothing could have happened if it had not been for the two Bens putting so much work and crazy ideas in to the production. Adding to the general idiocy is the set of props, beautifully designed in cardboard by Ivo de Jaeger who is also responsible for the pictures on the wall and on the programme. We must also mention the choreographer Hector Mitchell Turner and the original music by Olivia Rose Deane.

This is an excellent antidote to the serious problems of the day. So great to hear great guffaws of laughter from the audience.

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