Share |

April in Paris @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury 5th - 9th August 2014

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 6th Aug 2014 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye


John Godber is the third most performed playwright in the UK, after William Shakespeare and Alan Ayckbourn. His plays are performed across the world with Bouncers being the most popular and it’s easy to see why he’s so successful.  John writes characters that are real, human, truthful and very, very funny. April in Paris was written in 1992 as part of the Hull Festival and in 1994 was nominated for the Olivier Comedy of the Year Award.

Al and Bet are not what you'd call 'love's young dream'. Bet's bored, Al's at his wits' end and they're stuck in a romance rut! Then out of the blue the passionless pair win a holiday to Paris! Will the city of love rekindle some life into this dying relationship? Will they succumb to the allure of l'amour in 'gay Paris'? Or will it be battle-stations amongst the boulevards? Join the intrepid pair as they sample the delights of the continent. Will Paris persuade them that they are a perfect partnership or is this the end of 'la rue' for Al and Bet?

John revisited the play 22 years after he wrote it and discovered that the themes of high unemployment, redundancy and house price stagnation were still endemic in Yorkshire.  In this version, the play is still very fresh, well balanced and relevant and it’s two stars, Shobna Gulati and Joe McGann, bring the characters to life, sharing their lives, dreams and disappointments with us.

Shobna Gulati is best known for playing Anita in Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies and Sunita Alahan in Coronation Street from 2001 to 2006, a role to which she returned at the end of 2009 and departed again in 2013. Since then she has been a panellist on Loose Women.

Joe McGann became a household name as Charlie Burrows, the “housekeeper” in the hit TV comedy series The Upper Hand which ran for six years. His major stage roles include Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Ray Say in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

April in Paris is produced by Paul Tyrer & Jamie Clark for April in Paris Ltd with Jane Walmsley and Michael Braham for JAM Pictures Ltd, in association with Derby Theatre.

The dialogue is fast-paced, with almost a laugh on every line and is hysterically funny.  Shobna and Joe are both brilliant as Bet and Al and we totally believe in their characters and relationship.  Every comic nuance is delivered with great energy, enthusiasm and truth.  As my friend Vicky said ‘they make it look so easy’, but as we’re both actors too we know only too well just how hard they both have to work to keep an audience entertained with just 2 actors on stage. The play has great warmth and the moments of pathos are touching, but never dwelt on for long as the laughs just keep on coming. 

The set is very cleverly designed by Pip Leckenby and we loved the 2 understudies, Emma Keele and Robert Ashcroft, dressed as French mime artists who made the set changes hilarious.

Tickets are available from Aylesbury Waterside Theatre Box Office on 0844 871 7607 (bkg fee), or online at  (bkg fee)

Performances:   Tue 05 – Sat 09 Aug
Evenings 7.30pm, Wed & Sat Mat 2.30pm
Tickets:  £10 - £29.50 when booked online or over the phone.
Box Office:  0844 871 7607 (bkg fee)
Groups Hotline:  0844 871 7614
Access Booking: 0844 871 7677 (bkg fee)
Online Booking:  (bkg fee)
The tour continues to:
12th-16th Malvern Theatre
19th-23rd Churchill Theatre, Bromley
26th-30  Glasgow Theatre Royal
1st-3rd   Lyceum Theatre, Crewe
4th-6th  Opera House, Manchester
9th-13th  Richmond Theatre
15th-20th Chesterfield Pomegranate
24th-27th New Brighton Floral Pavilion
30th-4th Oct Dundee Rep Theatre
7th-11th  Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
14th-18th Civic Theatre, Darlington

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks, Yvonne. This sounds very entertaining and we'll presented.
Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.