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New Greenham Arts - The Reconditioned Wife Show

25th to 26th April 2003.

This was the NWN review.

Hilarious roller-coaster of domestic tribulations

The Reconditioned Wife Show, at New Greenham Arts, on Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26

Plested and Brown are the resident Theatre Company at New Greenham Arts and this talented partnership have devised a sparkling, original, and keenly observed satirical comedy of the sexes.

The Reconditioned Wife Show is a hilarious snapshot of modern day marriage. Plested, resplendent in a scarlet dress, is our talk-show host, urging us "to stand by your man".

She has discovered the self-help guide that has changed her life and consequently that of her husband and she is determined to share this remedy for marital blues with the audience and she does so with aplomb.

Through a roller-coaster ride of domestic vignettes, which must have resonated with every married person in the audience, we share the trials and tribulations of married life.

The 'bride to be' in the hen party in the front row, a gift for any comedienne, soon found herself being invited onto the stage and given advice with hilarious results.

Brown has a wonderful expressive face and impeccable comic timing with the ability to change from pathos to hilarity in a trice. One moment he was singing in the shower and the next clipping his toenails to his wife's comment "the only thing I felt we had in common was that we got married on the same day."

This play is brimful with comic invention. Even the set consisting of three red revolving doors has a vital part to play. This is farce at its most skilful and best, played at a breathtaking pace.

By following 'the book' Plested has manipulated and cajoled Brown into accepting responsibility for the domestic. chores allowing her time to shop and indulge herself.

Even when he forgets their anniversary she is guided by the 'voice of the book' to surrender to his demands.

Brown was outrageously funny as he stripped down to animal-skin underwear and matching bow tie, performing a cabaret-style dance routine - a knockout performance. However, once in the bedroom, all Plested is interested in is talking about their finances.

The denouement was simply brilliant. Amanda Wilsher's tight, insightful direction perfectly complemented the acting talent of this dynamic duo.

It's now on tour and should not be missed.