An extended family combined with Christmas chaos, creates comedy gold in Season’s Greetings at the New Vic theatre thanks to genius Alan Ayckbourn.
As Christmas Eve gets underway finishing touches to the decorations at Neville (Matt Addis) and Belinda’s (Frances Marshall) house turns into bickering and banter not only between the hosts, but with their guests too.
Uncle Bernard’s rallying throughout the house while trying to help his wife Phyllis (Eileen Battye) prepare a festive feast just adds to the commotion leaving the audience in uproar.
When Rachel’s (Rachel Caffrey) friendly guest, Clive (Andy Cryer) finally arrives not only does he attract the attention of her sister, and host, Belinda, but also is greeted by the somewhat intimidating Uncle Harvey played by the fantastic Bill Champion.
Harvey’s tales from a previous life as a security guard are said with conviction and enough detail to send off the alarm bells with Clive.
Guest Pattie (Mercy Ojelade) is struggling to control children upstairs while husband Eddie (Michael Lyle) avoids any type of domestic duties.
When Christmas Day finally arrives the chaos continues and when night falls and most of the gusts are tucked up in bed, Clive and Belinda get up to mischief in the hallway.
Their naughtiness is interrupted however as husband Neville and the remaining guests tumble down the stairs unexpectedly in a scene which again leaves the audience in uproar at the close of act one.
Boxing Day is the next instalment and its the forever entertaining Bernard, played by the superb Leigh Symonds, who creates his own chaos with his puppet show, with Harvey and Pattie to help.
Seasons Greetings is the first of an Alan Ayckbourn comedy double bill at the theatre in the round this October, and as all nine characters go with their wants unfulfilled, the action simply escalates into a enjoyable ridiculousness.
A thoroughly enjoyable play with a stellar strong cast – Genius!
Mention must also be made to the lighting and accompanying music which all added to the scene!
For ore information see here.
**Read Baba’s Review of Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present by Alan Ayckbourn here.