Highbury Players bring Alan Bennett`s comedy Habeas Corpus to the intimate Highbury Theatre.
Filled with light-heartedness and the kind of innuendo typical of saucy seaside postcards, the play delivers razor sharp wit and characters that are larger-than-life.There’s Dr Arthur Wicksteed, a middle class doctor that has an eye for the ladies (Martin Walker), and his frisky wife Muriel, Sharon Clayton; and their hypochondriac son, Dennis (Jack Hobbis). Arthur also has a sister, Constance played by Linzi Doyle, who is desperately driven for a much larger bosom, and she`s been engaged for 10 years to sexually frustrated vicar Canon Throbbing, Dave Douglas.
Extra characters include ex-colonial snob Lady Rumpers, Dee White, she attempts to over-protect her less than innocent daughter Felicity Rumpers, Bhupinder Brown. There`s also Sir Percy Shorter, Rob Phillips, the president of the British Medical Association - also not free of temptation. In amongst the mayhem is Welsh Mr Shanks, Kerry Frater, from a breast enhancement company. Plus there’s Mr Purdue, Rob Gregory, one of Arthur’s depressed patients that’s being driven to desperate measures. Finally there’s working class Mrs Swabb, Sandra Haynes, adding a clarity to the play by being a constant and providing further explanations - all of which she does whilst doing the hoovering!
With mismanaged lust and mistaken identity Alan Bennett has written a classic, laugh-out-loud farce. The performances from all of the Highbury Players were of a high standard - all equally as entertaining, talented and comical. With impressively delivered lines and faultless, sharp performances. One highlight throughout the play included the interaction between the injected, and at that point delirious, Mr Shanks and Sir Percy Shorter. There was slapstick, blunder and wit from beginning to end with an air of parody.
Whilst the stage comprised of just two chairs and large hanging postcards, the seamlessness of the play showed how much effort that has been put in by the creative team behind the scenes.
Habeas Corpus runs at the Highbury Theatre until 24 September
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.