in a converted mill by the Thames - low oak beams and a rotating
water wheel - add to the traditional atmosphere where one enjoys
some good old-fashioned English cooking at The Mill, Sonning.
biggest laughs still come down to the long-established straight-man-dressed-as-woman
wasn't the kind of dinner that you really expect to be followed
by a modern family sitcom.
Will Be Boys is a play that seems at first to be at odds with its
initially it also seems to be at odds with itself, trying too hard
to be a stage version of My Family, without managing quite the same
level of wit.
Simon Williams, does have something of a similar skill to the tv
scriptwriters, with a few initial cringes at a cheesy script. But
this is a performance where you do end up laughing out loud.
play takes on a newly common theme - that of the not-really-at-all-dysfunctional
family - with the bemused middle-aged parent centre stage.
supporting cast includes the sarcastic yet basically sweet Grandpa
and the deeply sensible daughter.
The action centres around the trials of Simon Williams' stuttering,
flustered dad, Lenny Loftas, a man at odds with the modern world.
comic premise of the play is that Lenny has a second identity as
Myrtle Banbury, a writer of romantic fiction.
worry about granny being shocked by some cross-dressing however;
the Myrtle figure is merely a conduit for Lenny's reconciliation
with his ex-wife, a seemingly icy professional played by Karen Ascoe.
reconciliation is helped on its way by a series of very modern misunderstandings
involving a tv-link between two rooms in the same house and a confusing
array of mobile phones.
the biggest laughs still come down to the long-established straight-man-dressed-as-woman
it is this old-fashioned sense of humour that ultimately makes Boys
Will Be Boys into a sweet and engaging comedy, not really at odds
with its traditional setting at all.