Review: Two and Two Make Sex, Suffolk Summer Theatres

Two and Two Make Sex, by Richard Harris and Leslie Darbon, Suffolk Summer Theatres, St Edmunds Hall, Southwold, until August 18 and Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh August 21 – 25.

Jane finds her boyfriend, Nick, so boring and with his full knowledge embarks on an affair with an older man, the weak, sensitive, caring father figure provided by George.

A misunderstanding leads to George’s wife, Clare, believing that her husband in seeing a psychiatrist, a role willingly assumed by Nick who sees the opportunity for revenge.

When Jane’s real father turns up the stage is set for a finale of mass-confusion and mistaken identity, further fuelled by the presence of Ruth (Sarah Ogley) agony aunt on the local rag, Clare’s best friend and George’s bete noire.

This is a cleverly written play - perhaps too clever in its final phase - which is given five-star treatment as part of the Southwold and Aldeburgh summer season.

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Michael Shaw is superbly assured as the timorous, bowler-hatted, guilt-ridden George, trying to have an affair with a woman young enough to be his daughter.

Ann Wenn, a very accomplished and watchable actor, plays Clare, the meek-cum-furious wife spurned for a younger model. Discovery of her husband’s infidelity quickly leads her to attempt a liaison with Nick, a man young enough to be her son.

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Rosanna Miles, as Jane, and Richard Blain as her estranged father, even manage a convincing piece of pathos in a play that is otherwise consumed by absurd situations and ridiculous attempted seductions, all laced with funny one-liners.

Iain Ridley gives an energetic performance as the juvenile, jobless Nick, obsessed with football and practical jokes.

Written and set in the 1970s when it enjoyed a successful West End run, the type of humour in this drama may be well-worn but it still provides excellent entertainment in the hands of director Richard Frost and an incredibly hard-working team of actors.

The final, chaotic scene is a challenge for any cast and this one emerged with colours flying.

David Green

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