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by Brandon Thomas
Call Awards 2004 - Best Actor in a Comedy - Tony Feltham - Lord Fancourt
BRANDON Thomas may have had his only real success with this farce, but what a success it was, and the years have done nothing to diminish its appeal.
Written and set in the late nineteenth century, although here updated to the 1920s, it is a delightful romp from start to finish - and director Stuart Glossop's highly original production hits its target with glorious abandon.
There are numerous innovative touches, from a plot-setting party scene prologue and narrator-style comments from an unusually verbose Brassett (an excellent Chris Brown) to the superb three-way set and entertaining scene changes complete with dancing girls.
Paul Hewitt and Richard Neal are believable, if a tad mature, as Oxford undergraduates Jack Chesney and Charles Wykeham, trying to arrange a luncheon for their lady friends Kitty (Clare Downs) and Amy (Helen Martland), while Vicky Ballard is a sweet, if slightly too fast-talking, Miss Delahay.
Dave Williams (Sir Francis Chesney), Jeremy Austin (Stephen Spettigue) and Jan Singfield (Donna Lucia) give impressive, marvellously detailed characterisations, but it is Tony Feltham as Lord Fancourt Babberley, pressed into cross-dressing service to prevent a social blunder, who brings the house down with a brilliantly timed, wonderfully expressive portrayal that is a pleasure to witness.
Linda Kirkman, Daily Echo
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