California dreamin’ at the Abbey theatre

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You can check into the Abbey Theatre Club’s latest production, but it’s so funny you might not want to check out again!

‘California Suite’ by Neil Simon is a hilarious quartet of comedies set in suite 203 of a Beverley Hills hotel which attracts some interesting guests.

In the first story, a divorced couple discuss the future of their teenage daughter with witty banter. Lisa-Marie Woods is on form as an acidic, neurotic New Yorker terrified of losing her daughter and amazed by Alan Johnston’s ex-NYC born-again Californian who has discovered life exists outside Manhattan.

In the second story James Robb’s comedic chops run the full gamut as a cheating husband caught out by the demure but vengeful Hilary Tasker in a tense farce. Special mention to Kat Hamilton as the comatose prostitute at the centre of the chaos.

The third story examines the special arrangement of a London couple over for the Oscars. Cath Eddie’s Oscar nominee is delightfully brutal and her unconventional relationship with the acerbically witty James Shaw is a treat.

The comedy builds to a crescendo in the final story as two couples from Chicago holidaying together fall out in spectacular slapstick fashion. Alan Johnston and James Robb’s depiction of best friends descending into murderous rage is hilarious, the closing scene is particularly entertaining. Their wives are played with long-suffering acceptance and delicious disappointment by Kim Rennie and Maddie Simpson.

Director Heather Osborne has excelled in choosing a cast with sparkling chemistry and impeccable comic timing and we heartily recommend ‘California Suite’ for a good laugh. It runs until Saturday, April 9, tickets are available from www.theabbeytheatre.org or 01241 872609.