When the company is Creative Cow and the play is Charley’s Aunt, you know there’s fun on the agenda.
Set in a world in which stripy blazers and straw boaters were de rigueur, and young ladies only accepted gentlemen’s luncheon invitations when there was a chaperone, this silliest of farces demands a larger than life approach, and that’s what it is given at the Pomegranate, Chesterfield.
Imagine Oscar Wilde stylishly reworked by Ray Cooney with added absurdity. Cross-dressing, mistaken identity, even a devious servant: this is an object lesson in farce.
With some cutting and rearranging they pull it off with a hardworking cast of six. Matthew Townshend played harassed college servant Brassett, irascible guardian Spettigue and starchy parent Chesney, all of them distinctive. Katherine Senior is both ingenue Kitty and Charley’s real aunt. Kate Sharp is two very different ingenues.
As Jack, Charley and Lord Fancourt Babberly, AKA Charley’s fake aunt (from Brazil, where the nuts come from), Jonathan Parish, Mark Smedley and Harvey Robinson are an amiable trio of reprobate undergraduates.
And it all ends hilariously ever after.
Charley’s Aunt continues its run in Chesterfield until Saturday, May 11.