ARBROATH’S Abbey Theatre entertained the crowds with a slapstick romp about golf, ancient jugs, love and confusion.
‘Fairway to Heaven’ is built on a solid foundation of mistaken identity, misdirection and in some cases senility.
Museum curator Cheryl, played by Laura Adam, uncannily resembled supernanny Jo Frost, and successfully harrumphed around the stage as a suitably exasperated ‘straight-man’.
The plot revolved around her acquisition of a pair of priceless Mexican jugs, and yes, there were several ‘ooh er matron’ moments with that device.
Cheryl: “All you need to know is, don’t lay a finger on my artefacts.”
Trevor: “That’s what you said to me last night!”
Like a car crash we could all see coming, genial but moronic husband Trevor, played by an entertainingly excitable Steve Proctor, accidentally smashes the jugs.
Cliff Cuthbertson plays Bob, Trevor’s golfing buddy roped in to conceal the accident with a faked burglary.
Cliff also doubled as the producer, and gave a good turn as a Stan Laurel style foil, but no offence to him, I sincerely wish never to see him in a low-cut dress ever again.
Bob and Trevor break into the house on the way home from a ‘vicars and tarts’ party, are interrupted by the real burglars and all the while a geriatric murder mystery party is on the go, littering the house with elderly wandering ‘corpses’.
Although at times the plot devices were a little contrived, it was fortunate that none of the characters seemed particularly bright, and their sometimes wanton idiocy was a little more believable.
The play is described as a farce, but the delivery of some classic one-liners, gags and running jokes raised the game above mere physical slapstick.
For example, Trevor and Cheryl, who are having some marital difficulties are having an argument about seeing other people.
Cheryl: “I’ll have you know I am of enormous interest to men in scientific circles.”
Trevor: “So was the abominable snowman!”
The group played to a full house, and were offered great gales of laughter and rounds of applause at the appropriate moments, despite a few opening night jitters.
Funny right to the end, Steve Proctor deserves credit for taking his standing ovation with his trousers round his ankles, a true performer!