Arsenic And Old Lace – November 2006

Experience: 6/10

By Joseph Kesselring

Directed by Robin Herford

Venue: Connaught Theatre

Date: Wednesday 22nd November 2006

          This was a very entertaining evening. The play is a marvellous comedy, and this production brought out a lot of the humour. The two old ladies, played by Louise Jameson and Sherrie Hewson, were excellent – I particularly liked Sherrie Hewson as Aunt Martha giving a little shiver of excitement when a new prospect turned up. Ian Targett as Mortimer Brewster handled all the double takes and the emotional rollercoaster very well, which set off the aunts’ dottiness perfectly.

I’d forgotten just how many twists the plot has, with dead bodies being bundled hither and thither, and lots of tables being turned. It’s great fun to see the scene setting at the start, with these two delightful old ladies in their peaceful house, knowing what’s really going on, and one of my favourite parts is when Jonathan realises his dotty old aunts have matched him in murder! Priceless.

Wayne Sleep was also very good as Dr Einstein, and the rest of the cast gave excellent support. We had an understudy for Elaine Harper tonight, and although I couldn’t hear her very well in the first scene, she’d sharpened up her delivery after that (possibly someone let her know she wasn’t carrying enough?) and every word came across just fine. An excellent night out and the best thing I’ve seen at the Connaught for a while.

© 2006 Sheila Evans at

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