Art posterAs Nigel, Earl of Marshwood, returns home with his bride-to-be, movie starlet Miranda Frayle, his horrified mother and the servants of the house prepare themselves for the worst as long-buried family secrets come to light in deliciously painful circumstances. Global Theatre invite you to share in their enjoymnet of a comedy in the best Coward tradition; a farcical exploration of society's view of the difference between the social classes.

 

Review: by Chris Moss
Coward lifts the spirits during a time of crisis
Entering the intimate arena of the Playhouse Studio on Friday armed only with my credit card bill, a glass of ale and a frown, it was distinctly heartening to see so many like-minded folk looking for an escape from the daily doldrums of stock market crashes and billion-dollar banking bailouts.

After all, in the current climate of general apocalyptic doom-and-gloomery, what better way to lift one's heavy heart than a trip to the theatre to be entertained by the late, great Noel Coward?

As the lights dimmed and the reassuringly calm (if alarmingly injured) figure of Crestwell the butler (the impressively agile Keith Cummings) hobbled onto the stage with the aid of crutches, the audience breathed a collective sigh of relief before melting into a deliciously witty farce.

When Nigel, Earl of Marshwood (Global newcomer Andy Bownass) announces his engagement to top Hollywood actress Miranda Frayle (Lucy Ashton in brash and beautiful mood), his mother and lady of the house Felicity (Elaine Elliott) is not exactly enamoured with her son's choice of bride.

To make matters worse, it emerges that the countess' trusted servant Moxie, played with great assurance by Rose Floyd, is in fact Miss Frayle's long-suffering elder sister, who knows only too well what her sultry sibling is really like.

After a face-saving attempt to pass the dour and dowdy Moxie off as a wealthy friend of the family goes hilariously wrong, a few home truths are aired between the estranged sisters, leaving Nigel's proposed marriage teetering on the brink.

And with the unexpected arrival of one of Miranda's old flames - smooth-talking Hollywood superstar Don Lucas (the louche Lee Ocsko) - and some dastardly scheming by the countes and her partner-in-crime Peter (Mark Simons), the ill-fated wedding is completely doomed.

This was yet another triumphant performance from the rather splendid bunch at Global. After two hours of timey escapism executed with knowing wit and impeccable comic timing, the delighted faced of the audience said it all.