The Questors Student Group return to their Ealing home in Brandon Thomas’s classic farce, and it hasn’t lost any of its power to amuse since Victorian days.
Against a simple set by Anjali Karadia which allows arches to act as quick escape routes both inside and out, the romantic plans of young Jack (Joshua Perry) and Charley (Bradley Peake) are carried out.
Their respective young ladies Kitty (Ruth Comerford) and Amy (Sunaina McCarthy) are coming to lunch, and Charley’s mysterious aunt from Brazil will be there to chaperone – or will she?
When the mysterious aunt sends word of delay, penniless aristo friend of the boys, Lord Fancourt Babberley (a marvellous Tony Sears) is prevailed upon to impersonate her, with more fun and intrigue to come when both Jack’s father (Matthew Saldana) and Amy’s uncle (William Busby) arrive as unexpected guests.
Running across three acts and two intervals, the pace of Richard Gallagher’s production never lags, and both the timing and physical comedy (particular the bundling of the wiry Sears over furniture and through windows) is spot on.
With the eventual appearance of two more ladies who cause even more of a puzzle (Jordan Fowler as the real aunt, and Julia Caldwell as her ward), not to mention the knowing disdain of butler Brackett (Jake Burman) we are set for the traditional happy ending after much rushing, running, and general messing about.
A sparkling evening. Charley’s Aunt ran at the Questors from 13-20 July.
Photo credits by Robert Vass.