Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Review: Communicating Doors, by Alan Ayckbourn, Southwold Summer Theatre, until July 15, then Aldeburgh, July 20-29

PUBLISHED: 18:12 06 July 2017

Melissa Clements as ‘Poopay’ in Communicating Doors, the opening production of Suffolk Summer Theatre. Photo: STEPHEN WOLFENDEN

Melissa Clements as ‘Poopay’ in Communicating Doors, the opening production of Suffolk Summer Theatre. Photo: STEPHEN WOLFENDEN

Archant

Suffolk Summer Theatre kicks off in Southwold with a fast paced and very funny production of Alan Ayckbourn’s 1994 comedy of master criminals, murder and time travel.

It’s 2037 and Poopay, a slightly nervous but spirited and witty dominatrix gets more than she bargained for when she finds herself witnessing the dying confession of corrupt and regretful Reece Wells. His murderous associate Julian, who has seen off two of Reece’s wives, is now after Poopay to silence her too. The cupboard she escapes into transports her back to 2017, where she finds Ruella, wife number 2 on the eve of her own murder.

At its hear, ideas about regret and how people can change underpins this wacky sci-fi plot. Not quite An Inspector Calls, however the resilience, strength and kindness between women and the courage they display in order to take charge of their destiny takes guts.

Ayckbourn heroines are funny, vulnerable and independent, and do not see each other as threats. There is an instant camaraderie between Ruella and Poopay and the rapport between Melissa Clements and Claire Jeater, as they dance in between time spheres and across the generations, beautifully creates the common ground between women that is classic Ayckbourn. Claire Jeater, especially, handles the comedy one liners without losing the warmth and empathy of Ruella. Whilst Melissa Clements develops her characterisation with careful timing throughout.

Toby Cobb’s grey hotel set serves its functional purpose as a frame for the action and the careful use of lighting creates distinctive moments of real tension. Michael Shaw’s menacing, Norman Bates like presence as Julian is actually quite terrifying which makes the play feel quite raw at times, before swinging back to more familiar territory.

This is a great start to the Suffolk Summer Theatre season and is recommended.

Jackie Montague

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Today’s the day – and thousands of students across the Ipswich area have been heading into schools and colleges to collect their A-level results.

A dog owner has defended herself against claims her pets’ loud barking is disturbing her neighbours.

A moped rider was taken to hospital after a crash in Ipswich this afternoon.

A Suffolk teenager hopes to follow in the footsteps of those who saved her fathers life as she achieved top marks in her A-level results.

A man has been arrested in connection with five burglaries in Felixstowe – which happened at hotels and businesses over the same time period.

A man was taken to hospital and another suffered minor injuries after a fight broke out in Ipswich during the early hours of Thursday morning.

Tristan Evans from The Vamps reveals his favourite artists, why they picked Newmarket, which songs he enjoys singing and more.

A determined sixth-former has overcome the odds and scooped a good set of A-levels – despite battling a debilitating heart condition.

It was a wet start for most people across Suffolk and north Essex today but the rain is expected to clear as the day goes on.

Ella and Amy Marr, from East Bergholt, will now go off to the same university to study the same degree subject after their resoundinly similar success.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24