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Ridiculous farce is huge fun

From left, Rose Kelsey, Chris Turvey, Nessa Law, John Abraham (on sofa), Steve Taverner and Pete Harris in the Apollo’s Don’t Dress For Dinner. Picture by Ian Johnston

From left, Rose Kelsey, Chris Turvey, Nessa Law, John Abraham (on sofa), Steve Taverner and Pete Harris in the Apollo’s Don’t Dress For Dinner. Picture by Ian Johnston

Megan Baynes

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Friday, February 9, 2018 - 10:00

SET in the heart of the French countryside, Don’t Dress For Dinner, performed by the Apollo Players, is a farcical romp through marriage, adultery and mistaken identity. 
It opens in a converted barn, where Bernard is planning a romantic weekend with his Parisian mistress, while trying to hastily pack his wife off to her mother’s. 
When Jacqueline’s suspicions are aroused, Bernard informs her his good friend, Robert, is coming to stay, but his alibi backfires when Jacqueline immediately postpones her trip — she has been having a secret affair with Robert for some time. This happens within the first ten minutes and half-an-hour later three more characters have been added and the lies increasingly embellished. 
There are many twists and turns in the plot but it is cleverly written and it is an easy and enjoyable play to follow.
Steve Taverner and Chris Turvey play the central couple, well cast as both shrill and deceptive. 
Pete Harris plays Robert, who is at first flustered with the ever-expanding lies but quickly begins to make the situation worse by adding further ridiculous complications. 
Bernard’s mistress, Nessa Law, is perfectly vacuous in her role as Suzanne. 
However, the star of the show is Rose Kelsey, a regular at the Apollo Theatre. 
Caught in the perfect storm and forced to play a multitude of different parts, she is delightfully scheming and uses the opportunity to make a tidy profit from the men’s lies. 
She earned some of the biggest laughs of the night.
The Apollo was packed and — based on audience reaction alone — it earned the cost of a ticket. 
It might be entirely ridiculous, but it’s also a great deal of fun.

 


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