Review: Hay Fever, by Bury Theatre Workshop, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Noel Coward's Hay Fever which is being staged by Bury Theatre Workshop at Bury Theatre Royal. Charli

Noel Coward's Hay Fever which is being staged by Bury Theatre Workshop at Bury Theatre Royal. Charlie Easdown as Simon Bliss, Gayle Wade as Judith Bliss and Julia Harman as Jackie. - Credit: Archant

You must get to see the Bliss family ... but with the one proviso that it’s from a distance.

For the foursome are the most obnoxious quartet you could want to clap your eyes on and as one of their suffering guests pointed out they are “artificial to the point of lunacy”.

You’ll be safe in the knowledge that the eccentric Bliss’s are at arms length on stage in the shape of Judith (Gayle Wade) her husband David (John Levantis), son Simon (Charlie Easdown) and daughter Sorel (Heather Rudolph).

And they are absolutely convincing in this gem of a riotous comedy of appalling manners by Noel Coward performed by the hugely talented Bury Theatre Workshop.

Written by Coward in 1924 it opened on June 8, 1925, 90 years ago to the Bury St Edmunds first night.

Set in a country house by the banks of the River Thames, in Cookham, four guests are independently invited for the weekend by each of the family and, like lambs to the slaughter, discover this was not the weekend they had hoped for with one of them resembling a rabbit being caught in the headlights.

Wade was brilliant as Judith and Tom Ogden excellent as the bemused and totally out of his depth Richard Greatham whose timing to his lines was spot on.

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Coward’s masterpiece has all the brittle humour you would expect from a play set in the middle of the roaring 20s.

Sit back and enjoy this brilliant comedy where hysteria rules and watch the sparks fly as the Bliss family play their theatrical game!

Hay Fever continues at the Theatre Royal tonight, tomorrow and again on Saturday with an afternoon matinee.