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SEX IS A REAL FARCE IN RURAL HORNCHURCH!

March 11, 2014

Ellie Rose Boswell, Callum Hughes (Two and Two Make Sex, Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch)JUST WHEN you thought good farce was buried in a Whitehall Car Park, a play discounting the rumour is now running at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch.

Two and Two Make Sex is a prime example but minus the slamming doors.

Written by Richard Harris and Leslie Darbon, this gives the impression of a next generation British Farce, but it was written and first performed in 1973.

Farce has always been linked to Brian Rix and the Whitehall Theatre which sprang out of boards in the 60s, though over the years the concept seemed to become staid by its own success.

Never having seen this play before, it struck me as new being devoid of the slamming doors and high pitched Yorkshire accents that required aspirins with the half time pint.

However, it ticked all the right boxes with rapid dialogue delivered apace and still leaving the audiences sprinting to keep up, with the bonus of not needing the wood on wood pain killers.

Directed by Matt Devitt, the formidable Cut to the Chase Company of Claire Storey, Georgina Field, Simon Jessop, Sean Needham, Callum Hughes and debut making Ellie Rose Boswell, take the concept apart and stamped their own individually on this great piece of visual writing.

The subject of sex seems to be a necessary requirement, but the impressive set of two rooms by designer Claire Lyth fitted exactly as the brain kicked into overdrive to cope with the rapid dialogue rebounding from room to room and off the ceilings and ice creams.

It was fast and furious theatre without a slip and played with the utmost professionalism.

The play had all the elements of kids running riot in a sweetie factory, but instead of over the top Whitehall, the impression of a sort of near normal Hornchurch was created with measured performances.

Callum Hughes, Claire Storey (Two and Two Make Sex, Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch)In particular from Claire Storey (pictured right with Callum Huges) and Georgie Field as the wounded wife and agony aunt.

It also gave room for Ellie Rose Boswell and Callum Hughes (top picture) the freedom to run wild as the mistress and lover, with Sean Needham achieving the quality of Rix at his best. Add Simon Jessop to the mix with his own inimitable style of expressions alone needing little by way of explanation.

It was a typical Queen’s treatment from Matt, who along with Artistic Director Bob Carlton, have been responsible for some memorable theatrical moments such as this.

Bubbly Georgina Fields has a talent for turning normality into chopped logic whatever role she plays and the agony aunt of Ruth was spot on. Hard drinking with an answer to all matrimonial questions, her advice seemed just right. The fact it drove the main theme of the characters will give an idea of the ensuing chaos.

Ellie Rose Boswell, Sean Needham (Two and Two Make Sex, Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch)Sean Needham was superb. He did not put a foot wrong and took the philandering husband, George,  who never quite made the finishing post, to a new level. (pictured right with Ellie Rose Boswell)

With more excuses than parental notes to miss school sports lessons, his lack of courage almost had the patrons yelling ‘go on, you can do it’.

It was quality acting as trying to keep up with him was nothing compared to the amount of skill and work he put into the role.

Married to Claire Story the understanding wife, he bombarded her with lame to pathetic excuses from being late home to losing his hat, all of which she accepted in good faith;  that is until Aunty Ruth mentioned the middle age man syndrome requiring a large symbolic club and 20-year-old nymphet.

Wifely measured response flipped instantly to retribution requiring spilt blood  or at worst no ironing for at least a week.

In her début at the theatre, Ellie Rose Boswell was totally equipped for Jane, the scatty mistress with enough charms to turn any head.

The cast of Two and Two Make Sex (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch)It was a very clever performance transferring the intended eye candy role into  the top of a thinking mans’ wish list. Though we have only seen one aspect of Miss Boswell’s skill, I would hazard an educated guess that she can be formidable in other roles.

The boyfriend played by Callum Hughes was also a joy to watch. Every time we see him on stage, it is another step upward. He took to the role of philandering out of work book worm, with great enthusiasm.

I particularly liked the aggressive word fencing with Simon Jessop, Jane’s hapless single parent.

Traditionally the final scene is where all the combatants meet up in one space and discover they are inter related or been bosom buddies with the opposition.

This rumble in the jungle of discovery and retribution was a prime example of Matt Devitt’s directorial skills. It was a masterpiece were the rapid fire one liners were delivered with Gatling Gun rapidity. The shortage of breath at each revelation was symbolic of learning the meaning of life in five minutes with questions at the end.

An excellent production continuing a good season with ‘The Great Gatsby’ in April to ‘Godspell’ in May.

Tickets for Two and Two Make Sex are still available from the box office on 01708 443333 or book on line at queens-theatre.co.uk. The show runs until Saturday March 2014

Pictures by Nobby Clark

From → Entertainment

2 Comments
  1. Claire permalink

    Thanks Barry – great review but it’s Claire Storey…Claire Short is an MP!

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