Chip off the block

Opus Theatre, Lichfield Garrick Studio


ROGER Hallam is a newly promoted high flying executive, his wife Jenny is broody- very - while Roger's retired father David is grumpy and friend Claire is pregnant – again.

Then into their lives comes 20-year-old American Drew and nothing will ever be the same again.

Rugeley  actor and writer Gerry Hinks manages to create believable characters for his farce about mistaken intentions and like all farces reality takes a back seat as misunderstandings take on lives of their own.

Alan Birch is down to earth as the new Vice President (UK) Roger, promoted beyond his and everyone else's expectations, while Alyson Joynes exudes all the frustrations of a housewife with a racing biological clock as Jenny, the wife who wants a family . . .  now.

Helping and hindering in equal measure is Opus regular Keith Minshull, a man whose face seems in a constant battle against smiles, as the suitably grumpy retired surgeon, David.

He has just returned from a fortnight in Cyprus, luggage hopefully to follow, having gone away on the basis that his holiday might provide some nudge, nudge, wink, wink quality time for his son and Jenny to perhaps take some steps towards the next generation of Hallams.


Miriam Edwards as friend Claire brings a bubbly, flirtatious sparkle as well as giving Jenny living proof of what she wants – in the shape of a bright blue beacon in her pregnancy testing kit.

Into all this comes Drew, the young American who wants to rush out for a bowler, briefcase, brolly and briar (it was really just a pipe but I'm a sucker for a bit of alliteration) so he will fit right in in England.

Toby-Alexander Smith manages to keep his American accent largely under control, never the easiest thing to do, as the brash young American with the dark, or maybe, in the warm light of day, not so dark, secret which in turn sakes a few more skeletons out of cupboards to join the party.

The play's opening run at Lichfield ends 21-05-11 and it then moves on to The Gatehouse, Stafford on Wednesday, May 25.

Roger Clarke 

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