Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Review: Barefoot in the Park
Theatre Royal, Bath Until April 21
THERE is a profound understanding of, and compassion for, the human condition in Neil Simon’s comedies.
He compels us to laugh with his characters rather than at them.
This is one of his earliest Broadway successes, dealing with young love, its joys and insecurities.
Newly-weds Corrie and Paul Bratter (Faye Castelow and Dominic Tighe) have just moved into their New York apartment. It is small, inconvenient, the roof leaks and it’s at the top of six flights of stairs (counting the outside steps) but it is the first major decision Corrie has taken on her own and she is determine to love the place.
Husband Paul is an aspiring young lawyer and their move coincides with his first solo major court case so his attention is not entirely where his new wife would wish it to be.
And then there is Corrie’s mother, Ethel, who wants to look the place over, and to keep tabs on the newly-weds.
Maureen Lipman both stars in and directs this delightful comedy. She is a consummate actress who says as much with her body language as with the dialogue. Her attempts to get up from the sofa, after too much ouzo has turned her legs to jelly, were a masterclass in physical comedy.
Oliver Cotton is an equally strong attraction as the ebullient and charming, impoverished gourmet neighbour Victor Velasco.
The senior actors almost overshadowed the young couple. But Tighe and Castelow create totally convincing chemistry.
The play is set in the Sixties but its themes are timeless and this production does justice to Neil Simon’s genius.