Wirral Stages review from 2006

This was vintage Ayckbourn, played superbly well by the entire cast of seven. A fine mix of characters seemingly divided by class, yet as the story unfolds, discovering surprising similarities.

Justin and Julie-Ann are due to announce their engagement to their parents at a well organised dinner party – however, unexpected guests in the guise of Paige, escaping from a violent gangster boyfriend, and Mickey an ex-boxer ‘minder’, bring chaos to the proceedings.

Julie-Ann’s displays of neuroses play on Justin’s doubts; whilst Paige’s constant  questioning of Mickey’s loyalties together with the flirtatious behaviour of Arabella- the once sophisticated society doyenne, affect the outcome irrevocably.

Humour, humanity, tension – all palpably portrayed by these characters, with particular highlights being Paige’s exotic dance to the strains of “You Can Leave Your Hat On” with just enough cynicism; and the flawless performance of Arabella who arrives drunk and continues to become more-so.

The Gradual realisation for both Mickey and Justin that their lives are taking the wrong pathy was very well executed A very funny play well done by Bebington Dramatic Sociey.