Time to share some summer laughter

Holiday Snap, by Michael Pertwee and John Chapman, The Jill Freud Company, St Edmunds Hall, Southwold until August 14 and Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, August 17 – 21

A YOUNG couple check into a “time share” apartment for a week of illicit love. No sooner do they vacate the lounge then another, older couple of holidaymakers also arrive ready to continue their own extra marital affair.

The double booking is not spotted by the visually impaired Commander Chittenden, the holiday firm’s representative, who somehow believes he is dealing with only one couple, although he can’t quite fathom their names.

So begins this outrageously funny play by two writers who once penned work for that master of farce, the great Brian Rix.

Rix would have enjoyed this performance which was fast-paced and full of comic good-timing, exemplified by both Michael Hoskinson as Henry - ostensibly on a golfing holiday but, in fact, playing away with his mistress, Mary (the excellent Ann Wenn) – and by Jill Freud as Celia, Henry’s naively suspicious mother-in-law, paying a surprise in a bid to catch him with his trousers down.

Paul Leonard excelled as the gin-fuelled Chittenden, a character straight out of Holidays from Hell, who has only a flimsy grasp on reality. Leonard played this larger than life figure for all the script allowed, his incredulity rising steadily as his fellow characters fought to keep their secrets intact.

Rosanna Miles - surely the young Barbara Windsor of Southwold Summer Theatre - revelled in her role as Eve, ostensibly visiting a nunnery but actually out for a week of “carry on”

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with one of her husband’s young employees, the nervous, wide-eyed Leslie, played superbly by Ben Tillett.

Apart from one wobble, the opening night performance was slick from start to finish.

Billed as a comedy, this sparkling production, directed by Richard Frost, verges on farce with its ingredients of mistaken identity, absurdity and sexual innuendo. It will keep audiences laughing all the way to its hilarious climax.

David Green

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