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Communicating Doors

Published by: Steve Burbridge on 15th Jun 2011 | View all blogs by Steve Burbridge

Liza Goddard as Ruella, Daisy Aitkens as Jessica and Jamie Kenna as Harold in Communicating Doors.jpg


The Gala Theatre, Durham

The concept of time travel has fascinated playwrights, scriptwriters and novelists for decades, and Alan Ayckbourn is no exception. His forty-sixth play – he is now up to 76! – Communicating Doors, is based on the subject and ponders what lies behind the mysterious locked door in the corner of your hotel room.

This cracking comedy-thriller begins with a dying old businessman, Reece Wells (Ben Porter), attempting to ease his guilty conscience. He calls upon Poupée (Laura Doddington), a dominatrix, to witness the signing of a statement in which he confesses to being involved in the murders of his two former wives. But when his ruthless business partner, Julian (Ben Jones), who is also implicated by the statement, finds out Poupée (‘it’s French for doll!’ she insists) escapes her fate by fleeing through the communicating door and finds herself transported back to the same hotel suite twenty years earlier.

The plot sees the ‘specialist sexual consultant’ confronted with Reece’s second wife, Ruella (Liza Goddard), on the eve of her murder. Can she alter the course of events and save Ruella? And can the pair go back a further twenty years and prevent Jessica (Daisy Aitkens), Reece’s first wife, from being killed, too?

Set in three different time zones, 1990, 2010 and 2030, this clever and complex play has you on the edge of your seat throughout. Liza Goddard gives a brilliant performance as Ruella, and she is supported by a consummate cast. The pace of action is frenetic and following the story requires a certain amount of concentration but, ultimately, this pays off and the audience is rewarded with a fantastic evening’s entertainment.

Steve Burbridge.

Runs until Saturday 18 June 2011.



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