A fast-paced and very funny play set in the back gardens of feuding neighbours. It is the night of Michael's and Roma's fancy dress house-warming party. The evening looks set to be a lively one until a string of hilarious disasters strike, including a distinct lack of guests, a burning garden shed, a marauding Zimmer frame and the prospect of an irate husband on the prowl.
by Noel Coward
Noel Coward double bill which includes two popular comedy pieces from his now famous Tonight at 8.30 series.
Fumed Oak – In the middle class drawing room of amiable and hard working Henry Gow passes most of the family life surrounding his harridan wife Doris, his brat daughter Elise, and his complaining mother in law Mrs. Rockett. But Henry is a turned worm when he comes home with a couple of drinks under his belt and a new courage. So he reveals his plans for escape, his long time saving which now makes it possible for him to leave. He vows never to see his family again, jauntily leaves, and saucily slams the door.
Red Peppers - Doing a song and dance act in a vaudeville theatre are George Pepper and his wife, Lily. They also have a genius for picking quarrels and insulting co workers. When the house musical director, Bert, comes to the dressing room to bum a cigarette and a beer, they chide him for accompanying them in the wrong tempo, call him a drunk, and oust him. Mr. Edwards, house manager, comes to defend Bert, and he is insulted. At the following show Bert had his revenge when he plays the accompaniment so fast the Peppers get frantic and finally fall down. Lily stalks off the stage after heaving her hat at Bert.
Hilarious and touching, this play for six women is set in a beauty parlour in Louisiana. Through four scenes spanning three years the staff and customers engage in small-town gossip but we see a deep strength and purposefulness emerge when tragedy strikes.
A splendidly entertaining show which had the audience helpless with laughter at the madcap antics of Webbs, Wilkinses and the rest of the distinguished cast of members new and old. Congratulations to Bill Newman, who not only directed but stepped into a part at short notice, and all the many helpers. Especial thanks to Eric Whitehead and Mike Wright for their Herculean labours on a highly complicated set. Despite the expense of the set, Frank says that a reasonable financial profit is likely, thanks to the pricing of the tickets, an extra performance and nearly full houses on the last two nights.
Murder and mystery abound in this ingenious play with more than its fair share of blind alleys. A greedy husband plots to kill his wife and make it look like suicide. His plans are thwarted: he, not his wife, ends up dead. But how and by whom?
Lettice Duffet, an expert on Elizabethan cuisine and medieval weaponry, is an indefatigable but daffy enthusiast of history and the theatre. As a tour guide at Fustian House, one of the least stately of London’s stately homes, she theatrically embellishes its historical past, ultimately coming up on the radar of Lotte Schon, an inspector from the Preservation Trust.