Plaza Suite

Farnworth Little Theatre

Runs until Saturday

Set in suite 719 of the New York City’s Plaza Hotel, we are treated to 3 scenes, all set in the one room with different cast in each.

In order to celebrate their wedding anniversary, Karen Nash has booked the room for herself and husband Sam with a view to rekindle those honeymoon memories. However, little does she know that not only has she got the date wrong, her husband is more interested in spending time with his secretary. Yet again, Joy Plowes is a pleasure to watch as she breezes effortlessly through the piece, bringing every nuance out of Neil Simons’ very clever script. Joy’s ability to pay pathos and satire is remarkable, culminating in the final words of this scene brining a tear to many an eye. A great performance.

Richard Leigh, as husband Sam presented a strong performance of the stuffy businessman who distracted himself away from the truth, until he could lie no more. The transition from being in control to his confession was easy to see and put the top hat on his performance.

The second story tells us about movie producer Jesse who meets up with his old flame, Muriel after 17 years apart. James Abercrombie plays the suave Jesse to perfection with the right amount of self-assured arrogance. Julie Hall as the timid, yet passionate Muriel is brilliant. Hilarious to a fault, this was a quick fire performance that deserved the laughter it received. Together, both actors created a realism that transported the audience into their world for the duration of the scene.

Completing the trio of scenes, we have a bride to be who has locks herself in the bathroom refusing to come out. Carol Butler as the bride’s mother turns in a cracking performance as the stressed out mother of the bride whilst John Howarth as the bride’s father is equally as manic as he goes all out to get her to open the door. Both try cohersion , persuasion and an authorative approach to no avail which results in a broken arm, broken ankle and ruined hired suit. Again, a well suited duo who both play their roles with a consummate ease.

Supporting roles by Matt Seber, Connor Haslam, Louise Davenport, Amber Sargent and Rob Hurst were well performed and were the perfect complement to the respective plots.

The finale was presented in song (That’s Life) which in my opinion didn’t work. The usual bows would have sufficed and would have been the perfect ending to this successful and enjoyable production.

Director Paul Ward has ensured Neil Simons’ script was well presented and has produced a great all round production.

Get to see it if you can – you won’t be disappointed.

Paul Cohen