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Last of the Red Hot Lovers at The Mill at Sonning

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 18th Mar 2016 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood

A red hot lover Barney Cashman isn’t.

It’s the end of the Swingin’ Sixties, when love was free, and Barney feels he is missing out.

Like so many of Neil Simon’s characters, the 47-year-old father of three and owner of a fish restaurant wants ‘to belong’, and so he embarks on a series of romantic trysts in his mother’s New York apartment.

But for red hot read damp squib. What follows is a poignant but hilarious series of botched attempts at love-making as the quietly spoken, fastidious Barney strives for something ‘decent and beautiful’.

As Barney, Stuart Fox is perfect. Looking guilty and out of his depth, his attempts to hide any trace of his visits to his mother’s home are hysterical, and when it comes to communicating with women, well…. you can tell he is married to his childhood sweetheart. His frustration at his ineptitude does, however, bring out his dark side which can be quite disturbing.

As his first paramour, Laura Doddington is magnificent as Elaine, a full-on, in-your-face broad who thinks nothing of cheating on her husband.

In complete contrast, Dido D’Alangurton plays Bobbi, a goofy, neurotic night club singer who has Barney smoking pot and singing pop songs, while Gloria Donna Tudd is Jeanette, his wife’s best friend, dowdy, depressed and depressing.

Under Robin Herford’s expert direction, Last of the Red Hot Lovers is a complete entertainment, but this production has a secret ingredient which I will not divulge but which only makes it even more special.

As usual, the set is exemplary, and congratulations must go to Edward Lipscomb who is making his debut at the Mill as set designer.

 

Last of the Red Hot Lovers is at The Mill at Sonning until

Box Office: 0118 969 8000

www.millatsonning.com

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