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Sep 14th

The Little Shop of Horrors @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Little Shop of Horrors Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

The classic moralistic story of Dr Faustus signing a deal with the devil in blood is re-told in this quirky, hilarious 1950s musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors which tells the story of Seymour, the assistant at Mushnik's Flower Shop in downtrodden Skid Row, who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers a strange and exotic plant. He names it Audrey Two in order to impress glamorous Audrey, the shop assistant he’s secretly in love with. But Audrey Two has a mind of its own, and soon grows into a bad-tempered, foul-mouthed carnivore with an appetite that can’t be satisfied. Seymour must keep the meals coming to stop his prized plant from wilting, but how far is he willing to go to get the girl of his dreams?

Little Shop of Horrors originally opened Off-Off-Broadway in 1982 before moving to the Orpheum Theatre Off-Broadway later that year, where it ran for five years and won numerous awards including the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. It opened in the West End the following year, and in 1986 was adapted into the now iconic cult film starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin. Other notable stage productions include the 2006 London revival at the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End, starring Sheridan Smith as Audrey.

Little Shop of Horrors features music by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman. They are best known for their collaborations on iconic Walt Disney films including The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, for which they received Academy Awards.

The ultra-talented cast features Sam Lupton (Boq in Wicked, West End, Avenue Q, UK Tour) as Seymour, Stephanie Clift (Mamma Mia!, West End) as Audrey, Paul Kissaun (Calamity Jane, Fiddler on the Roof, UK Tours) as Mushnik, Sasha Latoya (Rent, Greenwich Theatre, Britain’s Got Talent) as Crystal, Vanessa Fisher (Hairspray, UK Tour) as Chiffon, Cassie Clare (Cats, West End) as Ronnette and Josh Wilmott (Spamalot, We Will Rock You, UK Tours) as Audrey II. The cast also includes Phil Adele, Stephanie McConville and Neil Nicholas.

X-Factor winner Rhydian was unable to perform the role of Orin, the sadistic dentist, but was brilliantly replaced by Josh Wilmott.  Josh has a powerful voice, great comic timing and energy and certainly ‘owned’ the roles he created.  Stephanie Clift also has superb comic timing and relished her role as Audrey as did Sam Lupton, as the hapless Seymour whose life changes dramatically because of the blood-sucking plant.

Little Shop of Horrors is directed by Tara Wilkinson (Associate Director of Motown the Musical, Memphis and Sunday in the Park With George, all in the West End) with choreography by Matthew Cole (Footloose The Musical UK Tour), design by David Shields, lighting design by Charlie Morgan Jones and sound design by Gareth Owen. The Musical Supervisor is Mark Crossland. It is presented by Sell a Door Theatre Company and Damien Tracey Productions by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited. Sell a Door Theatre Company have previously toured critically acclaimed productions of Avenue Q, The History Boys, American Idiot and Seussical the Musical.

This is a fantastic night’s entertainment that will have you laughing all the way through and singing along with its iconic songs. The show is extremely slick with strong performances from everyone and if you loved the film, you’ll love the stage show even more.  Go and see it, have fun and escape into a fantasy world of craziness for a while; it’ll uplift your spirits and keep you smiling for a long time after the curtain comes down.

There's still time to catch the show in Aylesbury:
Performances:      Tue 13 – Sat 17 Sep
            Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm
Tickets:         From £15*
Box Office:         0844 871 7607 (Bkg fee. Calls 7p per min plus phone company’s access charge)
Groups Hotline:     0844 871 7614
Access Booking:    0844 871 7677 (Bkg fee)
Online Booking: (Bkg fee)
Twitter:         @thewaterside1

Full tour details can be found on:

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Sep 2nd

NT Live Encore 'The Audience' at Second Space, The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

The National Theatre’s Live Screenings have been an outstanding success around the country, enabling everyone to see an NT production without having to travel to London.  Some of the most popular screenings are being repeated and if you missed them first time around, it’s certainly worth trying to catch one of the ‘Encore’ screenings around the country.

To celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, The Audience has returned to cinemas starring Helen Mirren in the multi-award  winning performance as Queen Elizabeth.  Written by Peter Morgan , who also wrote the film The Queen, the play is directed by two-time Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominated director Stephen Daldry.

For sixty years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a private weekly meeting, lasting just 20 minutes.  These meetings are known as ‘The Audience’ and are completely confidential, creating speculation about what is actually discussed between the two parties.

Helen Mirren is outstanding as The Queen and it’s a hard task to change physically and vocally through six decades, as well as all the rapid costume and wig changes.  Her comic timing is spot on and she perfects the regal mannerisms, withering looks and humour of our much-loved monarch.

Supported by a tremendous cast playing the 12 prime ministers, each meeting is a vignette providing an insight into what was happening politically at the time.  With Edward Fox as Churchill, Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson, Nathaniel Parker as Gorden Brown, Paul Ritter as Rufus Wright and David Peart as James Callaghan, who all portray their respective PMs with brilliant authenticity.  For me though, the meeting between Margaret Thatcher, superbly played by Haydn Gwynne, was the highlight of the play.  Haydn totally captured the vocal intonations and authority of Thatcher and for a while you could imagine you were witnessing an actual conversation.

The screening ends with a Q&A session recorded between Stephen Daldry and Helen Mirren and is well worth staying a few more minutes to listen to.

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Jul 27th

That's Entertainment @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

That's Entertainment Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre,

Summer is finally here and with the long school holidays, I’m sure there’ll be lots of parents and grandparents looking for entertainment ideas.  One of the great things about a show like That’s Entertainment is that it can be enjoyed by all the family.  Younger children may not appreciate it so much, but with a dazzling arrays of beautiful costumes, excellent tap dance routines and timeless songs, there should be something for everyone.

That’s Entertainment includes songs from Carousel (If I loved You, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Carousel Waltz) and South Pacific (I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, Some Enchanted Evening and There is Nothing Like a Dame) by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The show features the 1927 song Putting on The Ritz by Irving Berlin and They Can’t Take That Away from Me by Cole Porter, right up to the 1971 hit The Candyman.  There’s also a Cockney Knees Up section, featuring songs from the 1912-1947, including My Old Man and We’ll Meet Again. Although the poster says ‘The Greatest Hits of the 40s and 50s’, as you can see there’s an eclectic mix of songs covering 6 decades.  The show boasts over a million sequins and 20 stunning costume changes, some of which are completed in under 30 seconds!  There are some brilliant dance routines and clever use of backing tracks that sound as if there are dozens of people tapping, which is incredibly effective.  The show is directed and choreographed by Emma Rogers, with musical direction by Kurt Kansley and is produced by David King of Spirit Productions Worldwide, who produced Putting on The Ritz.

Making three guest appearances throughout the show is four times Olivier-nominated musical theatre artist, Ruthie Henshall. Ruthie has played the lead role in many of the most highly-acclaimed, long-running successful award-winning musicals in the West End and on Broadway of the last 30 years, including Billy Elliot, Chicago, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Cats and Crazy For You which catapulted Ruthie into a major musical West End star. Ruthie is also in high demand as a concert performer touring and performing extensively in the UK, the USA and Australia. Ruthie engages the audience with theatrical tales and shares some personal memories in between singing some of her favourite songs, including All That Jazz from Chicago.
With glorious costumes, sumptuous music, stunning dance routines and an award-winning cast of singers and dancers, this is guaranteed to wow the audience and keep their toes-tapping! That’s  Entertainment is feel-good entertainment at its best for all the family.

Prior to the show was the launch for the autumn season, when we can look forward to Little Shop of Horrors, AIDA, Dirty Dancing, Sunny Afternoon, Save The Last Dance for Me, The Woman in Black and this years panto, Aladdin, featuring Michelle Collins.

The launch was hosted by BBC Three Counties Radio’s Theatre Luvvie, Ian Brown, who introduced us to Richard Darbourne, the Producer of The Kinks Sunny Afternoon.  Richard gave us an insight into the casting and rehearsal process for the show, where Ray Davies has been very hands-on from auditions and rehearsals through to opening nights.  The show has been running in the West End since October 2014 and won Best New Musical Olivier Award 2015, as well as Best Actor (John Dagliesh), Best Supporting Actor (George Maguire) and Outstanding Achievement in Music (Ray Davies).

Also on the platform was National Theatre Producer, Kash Bennett who talked about the exciting production of Jane Eyre.  Charlotte Bronte’s novel has been described as one of the greatest romantic novels of English fiction.  The NT’s production has been called ‘Enchanting’, ‘Magnificent’ and ‘theatre at its most imaginative’ and The Waterside Theatre is pleased that the play will be coming to the theatre next year.  Two other hugely successful NT productions, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time will be making a return visit and War Horse will also be coming to The Waterside.

Details of all the shows can be found at 

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Jul 12th

Chicago @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury 11th-16th July 2016

By Yvonne Delahaye

In the 1920s Chicago was run by gangsters, making huge amounts of money out of illegal alcohol, gambling, prostitution and extortion. This was the era of the Prohibition Law, where mobsters Al Capone and Johnny Torrio frequented nightclubs and enjoyed the company of jazz musicians.  Set against this lawless background, a junior reporter on the Chicago Tribune was assigned to cover the trials of women accused of murder.  Maureen Watkins interviewed the most glamorous women and soon transformed criminals into stars.  Two women in particular caught her attention, Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner and it was their stories that she wrote about, which raised public sympathy leading to them both being acquitted and literally getting away with murder! 

In 1926, Watkins turned their stories into a play, so Beulah Annan became Roxie Hart and Belva Gaertner became Velma Kelly.  Their flamboyant attorney W W O’Brien was transformed into Billy Flynn.  The play was described as ‘the finest piece of stage satire ever written by an American’ and was turned into a film with Ginger Rogers, before John Kander and Fred Ebb created the 1975 musical we enjoy today.  Co-author Bob Fosse choreographed the original show and his style is tightly emulated wherever it’s performed around the world.

The original Broadway production opened in 1975 at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for 936 performances until 1977. Bob Fosse choreographed the original production, and his style is strongly identified with the show. Following a West End debut in 1979 which ran for 600 performances, Chicago was revived on Broadway in 1996, and a year later in the West End running for 15 years, making it the longest running American musical. The Academy Award-winning 2002 film version of the musical was directed by Rob Marshall and starred Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly, and Queen Latifah.

When I was in my first year at drama school we stage managed the second year’s production of Chicago, which we also took on tour.  The two leading ladies both went on to successful West End careers and I loved the storyline, vibrancy and catchy songs.  Our production was a colourful affair with glitter curtains and sequins, so when I saw the West End production some years later I was disappointed to see how black and grey everything was.  Of course, it was slick and stylish, but I felt it had lost some of its humour and warmth.  I’m pleased to say that this touring production has got both in bucketloads!

Hayley Tamaddon is wonderful as Roxie Hart and radiates energy with a smile that lights up the whole theatre.  She proves herself to be a brilliant ‘triple threat’ and not just a soap actress, renowned for her roles in Coronation Street and Emmerdale.  Roxie’s arch enemy, Velma Kelly is played by Sophie Carmen-Jones.  Former Eastenders actor, John Partridge, makes the most of his role as the corrupt attorney Billy Flynn.

Returning to play the role of Mama Morton is Gina Murray, who played her in the West End and recently on a tour of China.  She has a terrific voice and gives a very solid performance as the prison guard who takes care of all the girls. Cuckolded husband, Amos Hart, is played with just the right amount of pathos and subtlety by Neil Ditt.  Journalist Mary Sunshine (A D Richardson) almost shatters the lights with the strength of her vibrato and I could feel my eardrums quivering.  What an astonishing voice!

Of course it’s the songs that make this show so memorable, All That Jazz, Funny Honey, Cell Block Tango, We Both Reached for the Gun, Mister Cellophane, Razzle Dazzle and Nowadays being some of the best known. 

This truly is a brilliantly stylish show and one that can be enjoyed over and over again, so go on... paint the town and all that jazzzzzzz.

Chicago is at The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury until Saturday 16th and continues its tour to Liverpool, Glasgow, Woking, Sunderland and Birmingham.  Full tour dates and booking details on

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Jul 8th

The Hollow at The Mill at Sonning

By Clare Brotherwood


Mention the name Brian Blessed and we all expect something… BIG!

And last night we had that in so many ways, even though the larger than life actor sat quietly in the back row of the auditorium.

For it is at the pretty Thameside dinner theatre that Blessed is making his directorial debut.

For a start, The Hollow stars the second biggest cast The Mill has ever accommodated. The play also lasts longer than most - not that the first night audience was complaining. But, most notably, Blessed has a big hit on his hands!

Given his personality you’d be forgiven for thinking that his production would gallop along - but no. Agatha Christie’s classic thriller is nicely paced and totally absorbing, though there are some quirky touches which has Brian Blessed written all over them and, as Lady Angkatell, the lady of the house, Blessed’s wife Hildegard Neil certainly knows how to interpret her husband’s comic side. In the midst of murder, her portrayal of the forgetful wife of a former governor in India is not only endearing but very funny.

It’s a family affair. Among the 12-strong cast is Rosalind Blessed, Neil and Blessed’s daughter who has inherited her father’s big personality, just right for the part she plays - Henrietta, a sculptress and mistress of the murder victim.

I’m not giving the game away here. The doctor, John Cristow, has many enemies, not least a Hollywood film star (and his former fiancee) who has moved into a cottage down the lane from The Hollow where Lady and Sir Angkatell (played by a distinguished Terence Wilton) are hosting a weekend house party. Given that George Clooney has moved into the village (and has visited the Mill), a knowing chuckle rippled through the audience when Sir Angkatell referred to the Hollywood film star at the end of the lane. Was that in the original script I wonder or a Blessedism!

It is, of course, a whodunnit: was it the film star, the selfish, scheming Veronica Craye, played by Leanne Rowe with a wonderful brittleness; the somewhat weak Edward (Alexander Neal), owner of the family estate, who is in love with Henrietta; shop girl Midge (played by Francesca Regis with a wholesome freshness), who is in love with Edward; the doctor’s wife, the nervy, subservient Gerda, played with great feeling by Emily Stride (daughter of the late, great Susan Sheridan); or even the butler, Gudgeon, portrayed with great aplomb and dignity but not without a little bit of wickedness by George Telfer. The only character out of the frame is the sweet maid Doris, who is eager to please everyone, and making her stage debut inthe part is Angharad Berrow who does just that with her enthusiastic performance.

The cast is completed by Jason Riddington’s tremendous, egotistical performance as John Cristow; Oliver Ashworth as the star-struck DS with an eye for the girls, and the authoritative but understanding police inspector (Noel White).

As always, the set is exquisite, this time thanks to Dinah England, and I love the nod to the early fifties in which the play is set, with old radio recordings of Happidrome, Workers Playtime and Elsie and Doris Waters.

So, well done to everyone, especially Brian Blessed. You’ve reached the peak of another Everest; in fact, the Universe is your oyster!


The Hollow at The Mill at Sonning continues until September 3

Box office: 0118 969 8000

Jul 6th

The Ladykillers at the Theatre Royal Windsor

By Clare Brotherwood


What is there not to love about The Ladykillers? Originally a 1955 Ealing Comedy starring

Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers, Graham Linehan’s (creator of Father Ted) stage adaptation made its debut in 2011 with, as I remember, the set being as memorable as the cast headed by former Dr Who Peter Capaldi and the ever delightful Marcia Warren.

The Windsor Repertory Company obviously doesn’t have the funds of a West End production but it is every bit as enjoyable in its own way.

Hilary Harwood is impressive as Mrs Wilberforce, the genteel old lady who thinks she’s letting a room to the conductor of a string quartet when, in fact, he’s the leader of a gang planning a robbery. You can almost smell the lavender water as she walks stiffly about the stage, speaking in that precise way old ladies of the fifties sometimes did.

The action takes place in Mrs Wilberforce’s house which is situated over a railway tunnel at King’s Cross. Only a crooked picture gives a taste of the lopsided dwelling but its close proximity to the station is emphasised by surround sounds of steam trains even before the curtain goes up.

Every single character adds something to this quirky, farcical black comedy, even Julie Ross’s very small part as Mrs Wilberforce’s haughty friend Mrs Tromleyton.

Tom McCarron is charming as the leader of the gang; Danny Lane hilarious but endearing as the punch-drunk ex-boxer One Round; Chris Kiely terrifying as the psychopathic Romanian; Chris Casey almost lovable as the pill-popping Harry, and as Major Courtney, the closet transvestite and con-man, Russell Anthony really conned me into thinking he was an officer and a gentleman.

There is plenty of fun and games to be had in this production, not to mention a plethora of killings - look out for the knife that goes through On Round’s head. I certainly didn’t see that coming.


The Ladykillers continues at the Theatre Royal Windsor until July 9.

The Windsor Repertory Festival ends with Pygmalion from July 12-16

Box office: 01753 853888

Jul 5th

The Mousetrap @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

When The Mousetrap opened in the West End after a short tour on 25th November 1952, Agatha Christie reckoned that her play would run for eight months.  Producer, Peter Saunders, was slightly more optimistic predicting a run of 14 months.  How astounded would they be now to see that 64 years later the play is still running in the West End, with a tour around the UK?

On 13th September 1957, the play achieved ‘longest running straight play in the West End’, which prompted Noel Coward to send a spiky message to Agatha ‘Much as it pains me, I really must congratulate you!’ But that was just the beginning of its most extraordinary record breaking achievements. The 50th anniversary was on 25th November 2002 and the performance was attended by HM The Queen and Prince Philip.  In its 60th year on 18th November 2012, the play reached an astounding 25,000 performances!  It was in this year that the first UK tour set out, but the play continued to run at St Martin’s Theatre, which has been its home since transferring from The Ambassadors Theatre in 1974, without a break in the run.  It also toured the Far East in 2013.

The big star names in the original cast were Richard Attenborough playing Det Sgt Trotter and his wife, Sheila Sim, who played Mollie.  Over 400 actors have played in The Mousetrap in the last 64 years, so it has certainly given a lot of jobbing actors regular work opportunities.

This touring production has only one ‘name’ at the moment and that’s Louise Jameson, who plays Mrs Boyle.  Louise is best known for her roles in Doctor Who, Bergerac, EastEnders and Doc Martin.  The Mousetrap though is bigger than any ‘names’, so long as the actors are good, then people will still flock to see the play, rather than its stars.

The characters are two-dimensional and the lines a bit clunky and full of clichés, so it’s not that easy to make the part your own.  Gregory Cox, playing the flamboyant Mr Paravicini, though did manage to lift the energy from a quite lack-lustre Monday evening show.

Agatha Christie was perhaps as baffled as everyone else by the show’s enduring appeal, but offered the following analysis ‘it is the sort of play you can take anyone to.  It’s not really frightening.  It’s not really horrible.  It’s not really a farce, but it has a little bit of all these things and perhaps that satisfies a lot of different people.’

Check out tour dates on and tick this one off your bucket list!

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Jun 29th

My Cousin Rachel at the Theatre Royal Windsor

By Clare Brotherwood

As leading lady Jessica Kent told the opening night audience, the Theatre Royal Windsor is spearheading repertory theatre, keeping rep alive - and so may it continue.

The fourth in the Windsor Repertory Festival of six plays in six weeks is still drawing in the locals as company members continue to show their versatile talents.

This week they are taking us to 19th century Cornwall where Daphne du Maurier created the story of Philip Ashley. Philip’s life drastically changes when his older cousin Ambrose, who has brought him up, travels to Florence where he meets and marries a long lost cousin - and then suddenly dies.

What follows is a mystery romance, which some say is better than Rebecca, as suspicion and rival jealousies turn everyone’s world upside down.

The play gets off to a strong start with some magnificent thunder and lightning, but on the opening night the incidental music did sometimes end too suddenly instead of fading away and the sound effects of horses hooves also came and went too suddenly and gave the riders no time to dismount and appear at the door.

The strongest performance comes from Tim McFarland as Philip who, despite wearing a costume which is too big for him, gives his all as a lively young pup who lets his heart rule his head with a childish passion.

Charlotte Haines, though a bit too quietly spoken for some ears, is perfect as the daughter of Philip’s guardian - a proper young lady but with jealousies bubbling just below the surface.

In this rather dark tale, it is the servants, Seecombe and James, who are particularly memorable, however, injecting a much needed dose of comedy. Jeremy Bennett as Seecombe, is your archetypal old retainer while Stanley Eldridge almost overdoes it as the slow-witted younger servant James.

My Cousin Rachel is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until July 2. The Windsor Repertory Festival then continues with:

July 5-9: The Ladykillers

July 12-16: Pygmalion

Box Office: 01753 853888

Jun 15th

Deadly Nightcap at the Theatre Royal Windsor

By Clare Brotherwood


From the buzzing audience and hearty applause at the end of the first night of their second production, it looks like the Windsor Repertory Festival is already a great success.

Part of the fun of a repertory season is getting to know the actors - which is this case is enhanced by the cast making an appearance in the foyer at the end of the evening - and trying to spot who’s who.

It’s not an easy task. Last week the actors were all singing-all dancing in the award-winning comedy One Man, Two Guvnors. This week the mood is much darker. In fact, it couldn’t be darker, what with murder, intrigue, lies and deceit in this eighties psychological thriller penned by master of mystery, Francis Durbridge.

The actors are unrecognisable from their previous roles, which is of course down to their talents and versatility. Especially so is Hannah Vesty who, last week was a mini-skirted assistant with a beehive hairdo who showed she’s a really competent hoofer. This week she has gone up in the world, reminding me of Kirsty Alsopp, playing a best friend who has her own TV cookery programme. Then there’s Cerise Hine who, last week, played her gangster brother. This week she’s a chatty housekeeper, while David Muscat, last week a gangster, is this week a caring doctor and Anton Tweedale, also a gangster last week, is now a detective.

All is not what it seems in this play of twists and turns, and to divulge any of the plot would spoil the surprises. But it’s well executed under the direction of Claire Evans, and is a hugely enjoyable not so much a whodunnit but how will he/she get away with it. Though the story certainly doesn’t end there!


Deadly Nightcap is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until June 18. The Windsor Repertory Festival then continues with:

June 21-25: Bedroom Farce

June 28-July 2: My Cousin Rachel

July 5-9: The Ladykillers

July 12-16: Pygmalion

Box Office: 01753 853888

Jun 8th

One Man, Two Guvnors at the Theatre Royal Windsor

By Clare Brotherwood

A drama of a different kind took centre stage at Windsor’s Theatre Royal last night when the audience had to be evacuated because of flash flooding.

But the adverse weather conditions were nothing compared to the thunderous applause the Windsor Repertory Company would most surely have received for their spirited production of Richard Bean’s award-winning comedy One Man, Two Guvnors.

Nothing could detract from this energetic, and hilarious rendition, which got the Windsor Repertory Festival of six plays in six weeks off to a splendid start.

I’d already seen this in London’s West End and Andrew Beckett’s performance as Francis Henshall will remain in my memory just as much as James Cordon’s. Instantly loveable, this bundle of fun is a human dynamo as he throws himself about the stage, endearing himself to us as he becomes increasingly confused as to which gangster he is working for. It’s just as well his part is so physical as Henshall is obsessed with food and Beckett has to consume quite an amount during each performance!

Under Paul Taylor-Mills expert direction, the rest of the cast also come up to the mark. I especially like Jonathan Ray’s OTT performance as the theatrical Alan Dangle, and Anton Tweedale as Alfie, the 87-year-old arthritic waiter whose slow progress across the stage is a thing of wonder.

Song and dance plays a part too, with Hannah Vesty as Dolly doing a great routine. Oh, and there’s a bit of audience participation, quite apart from the flooded front stalls!

In the hands of the Windsor Repertory Company, One Man, Two Guvnors is unbridled madness and I can’t wait to see what these versatile performers come up with in the following weeks. Certainly they have a diverse programme, but then, that’s how actors learned their trade back in the day.

The Windsor Repertory Company was first created in 1938 by John Counsell,  the late owner of the Theatre Royal (his daughter actress Elizabeth Counsell was present last night) and last year, to celebrate 200 years of the Theatre Royal Windsor, weekly rep was revived to critical acclaim. Let’s hope other theatres will take its lead.

One Man, Two Guvnors is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until June 11. The Windsor Repertory Festival then continues with:

June 14-18: Deadly Nightcap

June 21-25: Bedroom Farce

June 28-July 2: Jamaica Inn

July 5-9: The Ladykillers

July 12-16: Pygmalion

Box Office: 01753 853888