Tuesday, 26 July 2016

"Arsenic And Old Lace" by Tabs Productions.
Nottingham Theatre Royal.
You know when Summer is here with the arrival of Tabs Productions Classic Thriller Season at the Nottingham Theatre Royal, and they kick off with a corker.
Not strictly a thriller but a wonderful choice of black comedy in "Arsenic And Old Lace" by Joseph Kesselring. After all, we know who the killers are from the start, but it's a wonderfully comic piece of theatre with some brilliant characters, played by a great cast.
The two old dears, who make a fine brew of Elderberry Wine with a particular full bodied taste but with a bitter finish, are played sublimely by Susan Earnshaw (Abby Brewster) and Karen Henson (Martha Brewster).
The rest of the Brewster family are as nutty, and deadly as The Addams Family, complete with the loony Teddy Brewster (Michael Sherwin), who thinks that he is President Teddy Roosevelt. Mortimer Brewster (Richard Ede), who seems to be the only one slightly left outside and looking in, but is a theatre reviewer, so maybe he does have a bit of a wobbly screw!
And finally the black sheep of the Brewster family, Jonathan Brewster (Andrew Ryan), and he does look different, but then again, he is supposed to and you'll see why this is, if you come and see the play! Let's just say you would not want to meet Johnathan Brewster in a dark alley!
Jonathan's "companion" is a certain "Dr Einstein", no the other one, and is a brilliant character played wonderfully sinister by Andrew Fettes with some lovely comic touches.
Elaine Harper (Anna Mitcham) is the girl, almost next door, well just through the cemetery, and is to marry into the Brewster family when Mortimer proposes.
David Gilbrook (Rev Dr Harper/Mr Gibbs/Mr Witherspoon), Jeremy Lloyd Thomas (Officer Rooney) and Robert Durbin (Officer O'Hara) complete the cast.

Wonderfully tight direction from John Goodrum and a brilliant set design bySarah Wynne Kordas, so good I want to live there, I want to see the laboratory, it made you want to explore the house it was that believable.
Set in 1941 all props, furniture, design and costumes were spot on.
Tabs Productions are well known for their shows and the loyalty of the audiences is great, seeing several faces from the past years over show this. Their reputation for providing quality shows from all genres of thriller is well known, and you can guarantee that when you come and see any of their plays, you're in for a wonderful night's entertainment with a generous smattering of humour throughout. Plus, as always, there is a twist, and not of lemon!
"Arsenic And Old Lace" is the first of the four week run in the Thriller Season, and this play runs until Saturday 30 July 2016 with Francis Drawbridge's "House Guest" next week.

Photos courtesy of Simon Cooper.

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