Edwina Currie’s revelation of her past sexual exploits on telly’s I’m A Celebrity are a ratings winner, triggering fantasies among men of a certain age.
The big question is: was she written into the original script of Simon Williams’ stage comedy, Nobody’s Fool, or has Chesterfield Theatre Company’s inventiveness struck comedy gold in this week’s production?
One of the characters, Gus the outrageous grandad, admits that curry tops his fantasy list - “a vindaloo, followed by Edwina,” he says, as his lips twitch with relish.
It raised one of the biggest laughs at the company’s opening performance in Chesterfield’s Rose Theatre last night (Thursday, December 4).
Gus is the master of mirth-making and David Holmes who plays him has great fun with the ageing lothario. Pelvic thrusts, lascivious looks and innuendos aplenty have the audience howling with laughter.
He’s matched in the comedy stakes by group chairman Heather Beresford playing man-eating telly presenter Letitia. Heather plays the colourful character with suitably over the top flamboyance, even raising a laugh as she flounces off stage with a booming ‘ciao’ remark.
Simon Gordon heads the cast as Lenny, who escapes his boring life as a statistician by penning romantic novels under the name of Myrtle Banbury. However, his secret alter ego Is at risk when he’s invited onto a telly show to talk about his books. A mammoth number of lines and a change of personality and image make this a difficult character to portray but Simon rises to the challenge.
Jemma Monkhouse gives a confident performance as Lenny’s daughter Dee Dee who is a lot more sensible and clued up than dad or grandad put together. Big announcements are a keynote of the production, not least when Lenny’s estranged wife Fran (played by Ruth Higginbottom) turns up out of the blue to throw another spanner in the works.
Technically, this is an ambitious show to do with sound effects such as jungle creatures and an alleged phone call from abroad cued into the action. All were right on the money last night.
Nobody will go home feeling short-changed after this production, directed by Susan Turner. It continues its run at Rose Theatre on Rose Hill, until Saturday, December 6.