This clever play by Richard Bean, adapted from the original commedia dell’arte play by Carlo Goldoni, is the epitome of comic theatre – and perhaps a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it!  That was certainly the mixed view of the Friends who gathered in the theatre bar after watching the play in a packed auditorium on Friends’ night.  But what a brilliant choice for a fun summer production it turned out to be. With Chris Jordan at the helm, perhaps a little reminder of what we have in store in panto season!

Chris and Talking Scarlet had assembled such a talented cast of actor-musicians it would be difficult to single out particular individuals, although special mention has to be made of Aiden O’Neill who brought his own take on Francis Henshall, the character made so famous at the National Theatre by James Corden and then there was poor Peter Lovstrom – regularly seen recently on the DPT stage – as the hapless servant Alfie who was to take many a tumble into the orchestra pit!  So good too to see Patric Kearns – clean shaven with short back and sides – as the wheeler-dealer Charlie Clench!

The skiffle group formed from this gifted cast and company was inspirational.  They regaled the audience during the scene changes with music that – all bar one piece we were told – dated to the year 1963.  A real visit down memory lane for so many in the audience. This may have lengthened what was already a marathon, but worth every moment for entertainment value!

There was a little nervousness amongst the Friends waiting in a bar packed to capacity to meet the cast, but It was such a delight to meet and chat to them all.