Rosanna Miles as Marion, Graham O'Mara as Ronald Brewster-Wright, Helen Keeley as Eva Jackson., Pictures: Sheila Burnett

Absurd Person Singular

Malvern Theatres


The world is ever changing, as are the sets in Absurd Person Singular, and last night the festivities began at Malvern Theatres for London Classic Theatre’s postponed production of Alan Ayckbourn’s farce to mark LTC's 20th anniversary.

While sports fans revelled in Sterling’s footwork and Grealish’s passing abilities, taking England through to the Euro quarter-finals, we joined Sidney Hopcroft,, played by Paul Sandys, and his ‘wild eyed’ wife Jane, (Felicity Houlbrooke) in their extremely clean kitchen as they hosted their Christmas Eve party with the only goal in mind for them, to impress future business contacts.

As the Three Lions moved up the ladder so do the Hopcrofts who clamber the social mountain stumbling over anyone who doesn’t join in with their party games.

The first act helps get under the skin of Geoffrey Jackson, (John Dorney), and his wandering eyes openly having affairs, while his wife Eva, (Helen Keeley), struggles to keep it together popping medication like it’s going out of fashion.

 Geoffrey states he envies men who can put up with just one wife while he lives his life like some kind of sexual Flying Dutchman. Ronald Brewster-Wright, (Graham O’Mara), seems distracted and is oblivious to his wife Marion, (Rosanna Miles), and her penchant for straight gin.

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John Dorney as Geoffrey, Felicity Houlbrooke as Jane and  Paul Sandys as Sidney

All three couples take it in turn to host a Christmas Eve Party moving Act 2 into the Jackson’s kitchen as Eva struggles to come to terms with Geoffrey’s plans to move in with girlfriend Sally.

Eva still in her bed clothes attempts various suicide acts unbeknownst to the other party guests trying to fix the dilapidated and forgotten fixtures and fittings.

Who knew that vegetarians only needed knives and didn’t use forks?

While all the action happens around the appliances, the background characters we never see hold the narrative together as Dick and Lottie Potter deal with Eva and Geoffrey’s overzealous dog George.

The piece de resistance takes place at the Brewster-Wrights when the Hopcrofts force their musical dancing game on the unwilling guests who end up dancing with oranges between the knees and balancing a pear on a spoon in the mouth.

So lessons learnt, if unwanted party guests arrive make sure your cars are out of sight and the back doors are locked otherwise you may end up with a tea cosy as a hat and an apple under your chin.

Who better to direct and produce this amusing Ayckbourn classic than husband and wife team Michael and Kathryn Cabot. Great to see increasing cast numbers back on our stages with laughing audience members edging towards a mask free future.

Absurd Person Singular is on stage at Malvern Theatres until Saturday July 3rd. Tickets are available from the Box Office on 01684 892277 or online HERE

Emma Trimble


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