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said it was unstageable!" runs the jokey tagline advertising
this production. Well, "they" were certainly wrong, as
John Buchan's classic tale of adventure and espionage is brilliantly
brought to the stage, transformed into a hilarious comedy.
action-packed story races along at breakneck speed, as our hero,
Richard Hannay, tracks down a master spy. Along the way he is tracked
across the Scottish moors by police who believe him to be a murderer,
shot at by an aeroplane, handcuffed to the girl of his dreams, and
sheer verve of the plot is entertaining in itself, but it's the
knockabout comedy that makes this show so appealing. Mark Hadfield
and Simon Gregor play over a dozen eccentric characters with gusto
- a laughing policeman, a music hall comedian, a travelling salesmen,
to mention only a selection. Each of these turns is thoroughly enjoyable,
and executed with aplomb - at one point they even swap characters
mid-scene. There are also fine performances from Robert Whitelock
as the amiable Hannay, and Lisa Jackson as the lissom female roles.
It's sometimes hard to believe that only four actors can generate
so much energy and action.
anyone to resist the charms of this light hearted, witty pastiche.
A delightful evening.