Review: Stage Struck by Tabs Productions at Chesterfield Pomegranate Theatre

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If a gun appears in the first scene, you can be pretty sure someone’s going to get shot before the final curtain. And the gun in Simon Gray’s spoof thriller Stage Struck is the first hint of tension amid the comedy.

It’s a play about actors, so you’d expect a bit of flamboyance, and that’s what Tabs Productions give it in the second week of the Pomegranate’s spring play season.

As Robert, a failed actor who was always a better stage manager, John Goodrum has a mammoth role. He’s hardly off stage, and hardly pauses for breath when he’s on. Angie Smith is Anne, his successful wife, and through the first scene the emphasis is on comedy as they dissect their failing marriage.

It’s in scene two that the tension ramps up and the gun (donated in act one by Rob Laughlin as an Australian lodger) makes its presence felt. Adrian Lloyd James appears as a psychoanalyst and the scene turns into a nail-biting weapon-wielding stand-off which escalates after the interval.

Then comes the twist ending. And another. It’s all great fun, and runs till Saturday.

LYNNE PATRICK