Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Don't Dress For Dinner, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, Review

Don't Dress For Dinner
Devonshire Park Theatre
9-13 November 2010

Performance seen 9th November

(appearance order)

Bernard : Ben Roddy
Jacqueline : Jacqueline Roberts
Robert : Damian Williams
Suzette : Kylie Butler
Suzanne : Carling Connor
George : Patrick Freeman

a Bruce James Production

Have I ever given a farce 5/5 before? Yes? Right scrap all those and put them all down to a 4/5 with immediate effect because Don't Dress For Dinner is quite simply one of the funniest shows ever - at least it is with this cast! I can't recall a funnier production.

2 hours long, but it doesn't feel like it because it is just so well cast, so funny and so blatantly unpredictable you wonder what will happen next. In true Damian Williams style you never really know whether it was in the script or not. Sky 1 viewers will know the very amicable and extremely funny Damian as the host of "Are you smarter than your 10 year old?".

The comments thrown at the stage from an audience member were most certainly not in the script. But Damian, a regular face at the Devonshire Park Theatre, had a hilarious retort for anything that came their way.

The setting is a converted farmhouse in France. Bernard is all set to entertain his young, dishy, Parisian mistress Suzy for the weekend. His wife, Jacqueline, is conveniently going to stay at her mothers. But if anything should fail he has invited his friend and former best man, Robert, to stay with them as an alibi.

A cordon bleu cook has been invited along so he doesn't have to worry about the catering.

What can go wrong? Absolutely everything!

Many farces are funny but normally they build to a rousing crescendo of madness at the finale.

Not this one.

You'll be laughing at the beginning, you'll be laughing in the middle, you'll still be laughing at the end.

On this opening night at the Devonshire Park Theatre there was nothing but glowing praise from the audience.

Ben Roddy as two-timing Bernard feeds off Damian's regular deviations from the script with utmost hilarity turning the show regularly into an impromptu double-act.

The lovely ladies Jacqueline Roberts (another DPT familiar face), Kylie Butler and Carling Connor couldn't be better placed in their roles and should get an Oscar just for some impressive stifling of laughter at the unpredictable actions of Roddy and Williams.

Pretty Carling's natural Canadian accent is impressively turned into a sexy French Canadian dialogue for her stunning naughty mistress role. But is Suzanne the only mistress? Where does Robert's niece come into the action? And who the heck is George?

All these questions can only be answered by getting along to the Devonshire Park Theatre before 13th November. Unless you are totally devoid of a sense of humour this is probably the funniest show you will see this year and perhaps for a long time to come.

Book here http://bit.ly/goandlaugh

Incidentally wondering about the strange picture with the playing cards? Well the cast of Don't Dress For Dinner kindly supported Great Ormond Street Hospital by signing celebrity charity cards.

Please keep an eye on www.starcards.org/ and www.flickr.com/photos/starcards/ to see the mounted end product which will be auctioned on eBay for the famous childrens' hospital .

Boys left to right Ben Roddy, Damian Williams, Patrick Freeman
Girls left to right Jacqueline Roberts , Carling Connor, Kylie Butler

Thanks go to the cast members for their kind generosity and to The Friends Of The Devonshire Park Theatre for allowing this to take place during their meet the cast event on this first night.

Don't Dress For Dinner cast supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital

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