THE Royalty Theatre on Chester Road opened its new season of plays this week with the comedy farce Kindly Leave the Stage by playwright John Chapman.
It’s an excellent show that brought tears of laughter to my eyes and if you haven’t yet seen it, it’s definitely worth going along for a good night out.
The play opens on an embarrassing dinner party where Rupert and Sarah announce they’re going to divorce.
When Rupert stumbles on a line and has to be prompted from the wing, it’s not because he hasn’t rehearsed, it’s because at that point we realise that something more is going on – it’s the start of a very funny play within a play.
While the rest of the cast try to ignore Rupert’s error and carry on acting, Rupert picks up a knife and tries to kill his wife’s lover Charles, who hides in a trunk on the stage.
The play turns into a real-life marital farce which brings even more laughs when alcoholic Edward (played with aplomb by Chris Young), makes his entrance.
He is an ageing Shakespearean star, once famous but now on the skids and blissfully unaware that the play has switched into real life.
Edward begins to crack up, especially as some of his cues are coming from a trunk and his lines are being fed to him by a prompt girl with delusions of grandeur.
A strong cast including Anna Snell as Madge and Irene Lathan as Mrs Cullen carries this fast-paced comedy at a belting pace.
Actor Paul Dunn as Rupert stole the show for me, playing the part with conviction, confidence and perfect comedy timing.
For tickets, contact Tourist Information on 553 2000 or the Royalty Theatre on 567 2669.