CHARLEY’S Aunt has been performed in theatres since 1892 and The Norbury Players remind everyone just how and why it remains a masterpiece in farcical comedy still relevant to audiences today.
The hilarious play focuses on Lord Fancourt Babberley, an undergraduate forced to impersonate Charley Wykeham’s rich aunt after she fails to show up for a lunch between him, his friend Jack and the two girls they are desperate to confess their feelings for.
Jake Jones takes the difficult role of Lord Babberley in his stride, exhibiting excellent comedic timing to deliver some side-splitting moments.
A particularly hilarious exchange involved Jack’s father Sir Francis – played wonderfully by Chris Broad – proposing to ‘Charley’s Aunt’ in an attempt to gain her fortune.
Things get even more complicated when Charley’s real aunt, Donna Lucia D’Alvadorez, arrives and begins to taunt her impersonator.
Melanie Brown plays the mischievous and fun nature of this character to the hilt, brilliantly dominating almost every scene she is in.
John Broad as Jack and Sam Jeffrey as Charley have excellent on-stage chemistry and really bounce off one another as they convey their sheer horror at just how convoluted things have become.
Meanwhile Lois Donnelly and Grace Duggan perfectly portray the boys’ love interests Kitty and Amy who, engulfed by their own innocence, are oblivious to all the madness going on around them.
And a special mention for Andy Brown, who made playing the likable and charismatic Jacks butler Brassett look effortless.
You can see why this particular script has stood the test of time as it lays the foundation early-on for scenes and jokes that play out later and are still as relevant today as they were then.
This production is highly entertaining, keeping the audience’s eyes gripped on the goings-on all night.
The final performance takes place at 7.30pm tomorrow night (Saturday, May 14).
If you have not yet been to see it – pop round tomorrow to see Charley’s Aunt.
Tickets – at £12 (£11 concessions) are available at norburytheatre.co.uk or by calling the box office 01905 770154.