An Hour and a Half Late at Malvern Theatres - Review

An Hour and a Half Late at Malvern Theatres - Review


Posted 2022-03-15 by Alison in Birmingham follow

Mon 14 Mar 2022 - Sat 19 Mar 2022

Not only are Olivier Award winners Griff Rhys Jones and Janie Dee a big draw for this play but it's also directed by Belinda Lang of BBC sitcom 2point4 Children fame. It was back in 2006 that Lang actually starred in this two-hander comedy herself when she played opposite Rhys Jones' work partner Mel Smith.

Originally written by French playwright Gerald Sibleyras, Lang has adapted An Hour And A Half Late for British audiences and current times so that the jokes still ring true.

It's about a middle-class couple who are in the late 50s to early 60s and preparing for early retirement for Peter and an empty nest for his dispairing wife Laura. But Laura's anxieties and revelations all come bubbling to the surface as they are about to go out for a meal with friends.

I caught An Hour and a Half Late during its stop-off at Malvern Theatres for a week from March 14 to 19 when it brought this London couple's marriage troubles with it.

It quickly turns from five minutes of candid conversation into an unexpected night of much bigger discussions and life decisions. There are hilarious one-liners and sizzling acerbic wit weaved nicely through the hour and a half on stage (which ends up cleverly linking to the play's title).

Both leads are a joy to watch but Rhys Jones is particularly good and stands out probably because he has all the best lines. He is a two-time Olivier Award winner after all and has spent a life in comedy, all the way back to those glorious Smith and Jones days.

Dee, herself an Olivier winner who was in Follies at the National Theatre, makes unsettled Laura very believable and likeable despite her constant moaning at Peter.

All the way through this play, couples especially will recognise the point-scoring tiffs and marital gripes that fester over years. But this intelligent play manages to turn them into hilarity with surprises around every corner.

It's a delight from start to finish. Catch it til Saturday March 19.

Rating: & #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9734 ;

#theatre -reviews
!date 14/03/2022 -- 19/03/2022
70635 - 2023-01-26 01:48:19


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