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 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Haymarket - Relatively Speaking

5th to 22nd March 2003

From the Newbury Weekly News.

Bit of a drag

Relatively Speaking, at the Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke, until March 22

Written and set in the 1960s, Alan Ayckbourn's comedy of misunderstandings looks horribly dated in this dreary production directed by Richard Baron.

The first act is set in a London flat, in which Ginny (Kitty Lucas), tries to hide her affair with an older man, Philip, (Granville Saxton), from her young boyfriend, Greg (Greg Powrie). The idea of a young woman having an affair with a man old enough to be her father is less scandalous nowadays.

The first act dragged with some dull comedy and stilted line delivery from Greg Powrie, as unconvincing as his bad 1960s wig.

The curtains closed for a lengthy scene change, unusual in modern theatre and confusing for the audience who were unsure whether this was the interval.

It was worth the wait however, when the curtains opened to reveal an impressive exterior of a large, brick built modern country house and middle-aged couple seated at breakfast on the patio.

The theatrical interaction between the older couple, Philip and Ginny was much better than that of the younger couple, making act two slightly more sparkling entertainment than act one.

The dialogue exchange was sharper and Granville Saxton gave a credit-worthy performance as Philip, hiding his upset feelings while suspecting his wife of having an affair, and creating some entertainingly crusty comedy.

This was a long drawn out, milked to death, situation comedy, playing to a half-empty theatre.

Lasting just over two hours, it was not one of the Haymarket's better productions. It seemed amateurish.