Chesterfield Theatre Company has chosen an Alan Ayckbourn comedy for its next production.
Relatively Speaking will be performed at The Rose Theatre, Chesterfield from Thursday, May 14, to Saturday, May 16.
Produced by David Holmes, the play stars Simon Gordon as the hapless Philip, Sue Turner as his increasingly harassed wife Sheila, Joanne Gordon as the flighty Ginnie and Mark Dowthwaite as her naïve fiance.
The play opens in the flat shared by Greg and the more sexually experienced Ginny. Greg finds a strange pair of slippers under the bed and is too besotted to believe they might have been left by another man, although that would also explain the bunches of flowers and boxes of sweets filling Ginny’s apartment. Ginny goes off for a day in the country, supposedly to visit her parents but actually to break things off with her older married lover, Philip. Greg decides to follow her.
The next scene is on the patio at the home of Philip and Sheila, whose marriage is clearly under strain. Greg shows up unannounced before Ginny, and wrongly assumes they are her parents. Greg asks for her hand from Philip, while Philip mistakenly believes that the strange young man is asking permission to marry Sheila. Once Ginny arrives, she convinces Philip to play the role of her father.
Meanwhile, Greg still believes that Sheila is Ginny’s mother. The situation becomes increasingly complicated and hilarious.
Although it is basically a comedy of misunderstandings and mistaken identity, as plays of this genre go it has a very well-constructed plot, plus some developed characters and a slightly dark streak.
Tickets for the show are £10 each from the theatre box office on 01246 271540.