REVIEW: All aboard for Three Men in a Boat

Three Men in a Boat being performed at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds ANL-140809-132614001
Three Men in a Boat being performed at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds ANL-140809-132614001
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Some readers may remember this novel from school days whereas for others it will be a mystery. Nevertheless, this fresh and fun production will have you laughing and smiling.

From the outset this play breaks that fourth wall, making the audience part of the story. Our three protagonists are wonderfully mischievous with this, constantly highlighting their dramatic licence.

Our journey features three friends set to escape the city and take a holiday on the river. Our cheeky trio of Harris (Tom Hackney), George (Paul Westwood) and J (Alastair Whatley) deliver an extremely fast paced production with some wonderfully crafted slap stick moments. Much to the audience’s enjoyment this comes at a price, as their physical exertion is evident. It’s a surprise they don’t collapse at the end. With both mature and immature humour, this show has something for everyone, including admirable but amusing anachronisms too.

The feminist in me cannot help but want silent pianist Nelly (Anna Westlake) to have a voice at the end, but her presence is essential. The music adds humour and poignancy, the featured songs also being a comic delight.

Overall this production is full of astute silliness and frivolity; so much so that any mistakes or mishaps are easily forgiven and even accentuated. Be sure not to miss it before this accomplished co-production between the Theatre Royal and The Original Theatre Company ventures out on National Tour.