Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Affairs In A Tent Review, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Wednesday 12th November 2008

Alan Ayckbourne's Affairs In A tent starring Damian Williams and Katie Funk


Celia/Sylvie/Irene - Katie Funk
Miles/Lionel/Toby - Damian Williams

.... yes that really is it a cast of 2 !

However a lack of cast numbers doesn't mean lack of entertainment.

Seeing master-of-farce and multiple identity expert Damian Williams in action only a few weeks earlier, in One For The Pot, there was no way we were going to miss this show.

I think many of the audience members must have been back for more of the very funny Mr Williams too as there was a very good attendance for a mid-week performance.

This has similarities to One For The Pot in that multiple characters are played by a single actor.
However, this time, there is a challenger for the title of "king or queen of quick costume change" in the form of Katie Funk.

I don't think there is an outright winner on this occasion as both actors are extremely good at switching from one role to another.

There's little point in spoiling the plot for anybody who hasn't seen this Alan Ayckbourn Comedy however it isn't laughter all the way as there is some sadness as well as happiness in this play - a nice touch by Ayckbourn.

Interesting that there isn't actually a tent in the play. A marquee yes - a tent no. But then again "Affairs in a marquee" doesn't really have the same ring to it so Affairs In A (Big) Tent it is then!
So the actors are excellent but sometimes audience members can be just as funny without realising it.

Like the woman who couldn't figure out that a stooge was underneath a sheet on the floor not the original actress. You'd have thought she's have noticed the stooge was actually about a foot taller and distinctly male-shaped!

Then there's those who really haven't realized that there were just two actors playing multiple parts and wait at the end for a 6 actor/actress bow that never happens.

Harmless things like this make the evening even more entertaining.

You can't say a lot about Affairs In A Tent. It's just a great little farce and on this occasion it was acted superbly by two very nice and funny actors.

Damian Williams is very much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get guy. Off stage he is as funny as he is on.

Joking to the end I asked if he'd mind me taking his picture with Katie to which he replied "Of course not.............. but I don't actually like her!". And off they strolled, down the road, best of friends.

Small cast - big fun!

Damian Williams and Katie Funk
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