Musical twist to comedy

Emma Thompson, Di Gordon and Brenda Bryant as Mrs Swab. Photo contributed.
Emma Thompson, Di Gordon and Brenda Bryant as Mrs Swab. Photo contributed.

THE EVER-POPULAR Buxton Drama League is taking to the Pavilion Arts Centre stage with Alan Bennett’s hilarious comedy, Habeas Corpus.

In 1960s Brighton, Dr Arthur Wicksteed battles with his midlife crisis, chasing women far too young for him and risking his marriage and whole career. Everyone seems to be chasing their dream of love and fulfilment until the arrival of Lady Rumpers of Rangoon and her delicious daughter Felicity.

Meanwhile, Arthur’s sister Connie receives an interesting ‘package’ through the post that could change her life forever … if only Canon Throbbing can find the courage to consummate their relationship!

The show is directed by Jason Hudson, whose production of Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna swept the board at this year’s Buxton Fringe awards, winning the Youth Production, Youth Actor and Youth Actress prizes.

Like that acclaimed show, Jason’s production of Habeas Corpus promises to be full of invention and originality.

“Alan Bennett’s ear for dialogue is unique, but he leaves the stage directions remarkably open – allowing a director a free hand to come up with something a bit different,” he said.

“In this production, we’re going to be adding Dennis Potter-style musical numbers to reflect the moods of the principal characters, and Mrs Swabb, Bennett’s char woman Greek Chorus figure is given a surprising makeover!

“So, if you think you know this popular comedy, think again: this production promises to be something very special!”

Habeas Corpus runs at the Pavilion Arts Centre on Friday October 26 and Saturday October 27, at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Tickets are available from the Opera House Box Office on 0845 127 2190 or online at