How’s the World Treating You?

Posted on March 20, 2012


Frank More just wants to teach history. But from losing his trousers in an army transit camp in 1946 to losing his marbles as a failed washing machine salesman in 1966, will he ever succeed?

Roger Milner’s surreal three-act comedy about post-war British snobbery and double standards – unseen in London for 45 years – bursts with inspired lunacy. But like the washing machine that turns up at the end, it looks a little dated now.

Matthew Carter endears as eager but hapless Frank and Gillian Cally stands out in multiple roles as randy colonel’s wife Violet, dotty Nell and mad dog-lover Mrs Scace. But as events spiral into chaos, a mix of strained quirkiness and dubious gender politics becomes hard to ignore. There are some breathlessly funny sequences but the play can’t always hide its age.

Nevertheless, Milner’s rabbit-hole view of a Mad Hatter-ish elite who fret (quite literally) over peanuts, oblivious to the world falling apart around them, feels painfully familiar today.

First published by Time Out

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Posted in: Reviews, Theatre