Energetic, fun and a little bit naughty - Leatherhead Rep end their autumn season on a high note with some festive frolics in 'Season's Greetings'.
Does anyone’s Christmas ever go according to plan?! I highly doubt it; and this production provides insight into one family’s Christmas celebrations that I’m sure we can all relate to.
Filled with farcical physicality, miscommunications and downright naughty shenanigans, the Leatherhead Rep delivers an engaging rendition of Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings.
The audience’s first hint of the disarray to follow is Phyllis (played by Claire Dyson) falling over herself in the kitchen to prepare the Christmas Eve dinner. Her doctor husband, Bernard (played by Keith Hill) is frequently called on to attend to her multiplying injuries.
If the inner family dynamics were not enough to cause chaos, enter Clive (played by Samuel Lane) a writer friend whose head is turned by the married, Belinda (played by Hannah Brackstone-Brown).
This is Ayckbourn at his best, as Clive is used as a tool to reflect the family’s needs and deep desires.
Christmas Day draws to a close with all the family slightly sozzled from a day of drinking and passions flaring. I was in hysterics as a drunken Phyllis is caught hiding behind the Christmas tree mimicking her uncle who is trying to get her to bed.
The humour did not end there, as Clive and Belinda deliver a deliciously naughty scene of late night tip-toeing in order to cement their clandestine passion. I won’t spoil the plot – but let’s just say things do not go according to plan. Another highlight was Bernard practicing his children’s puppet show to the dismay of the rest of the family who are equally bored and bemused by his efforts.
This is a production everyone can relate to, moments of humour are punctuated by real fissures in the family’s relationships – does Belinda’s husband love her enough? Should Bernard and Phyllis have had children?
The cast, staging and sound were all terrific. I particularly enjoyed Hannah Brackstone-Brown and Samuel Lane’s performances (as Belinda and Clive respectively) for their great energy. The play is the final in the Leatherhead Rep’s season and I can certainly say they are finishing on a high!
The big day may seem a while off yet, but I encourage you to start your festivities early and catch this production while you can.
‘Season’s Greetings’ is on until Sat 24 Nov.
The Leatherhead Theatre, 7 Church Street, Leatherhead, KT22 8DN. Tel: 01372 365141. leatherheadrep.com
Review by Zoe Dudgeon