LAST night (Tuesday) saw Ulverston Outsiders present Bedroom Farce.

Revered as one of Alan Ayckbourn’s best, I was interested to see the well-respected local group’s production.

The play is set in three bedrooms and features four couples: Delia and Ernest are going out to celebrate their wedding anniversary with a meal; Malcolm and Kate are about to host a housewarming; Nick and Jan were invited but, with an injured back, Nick is unable to attend; none of the three couples have any idea of the imminent chaos about to be visited on them by way of the issues suffered by Trevor, son of Delia and Ernest, and Susannah in their marital breakdown.

It’s always nice to see new blood of any age on the stages of Furness, and Ulverston Outsiders are blessed with a great mix of both experienced performers and some lesser known faces. This all makes for an obviously positive team spirit as they support each other admirably throughout the performance.

Opening nights, especially for a play, without an overture or starting song can mean it’s sometimes difficult to gain a runway speed sufficient for take-off, but after initial pace issues, the crew pulled together and flight was soon achieved and the attentive audience were relaxed and enjoying the journey.

Director Barbara Springthorpe and the cast have obviously worked very well together as we quickly felt at home with all of the couples and their idiosyncrasies.

Delia and Ernest are like an old pair of comfortable slippers with a slightly worn sole, debating the benefits of Sardines over Pilchards. Nick and Jan with an ever-present acidity have a slightly more brusque relationship whilst Malcolm and Kate are a younger, excitable and fun pair brought to life excellently by Paul Jordin and Hayley Parsons. The fourth couple, Trevor and Susannah, are troubled and it is their marital troubles that are the catalyst of the play.

Bedroom Farce has all the classic elements of the art form with the biting social insight into human beings and how we treat each other which is classic Ayckbourn.

The Outsiders do themselves proud in presenting a play full of secret assignations, impulsive actions, awkward conversations, sardines, many coats, mistaken identity and lots of laughs.

A very funny production which just needs to come out of the traps a little faster, and it will.

Enjoy it at The Coronation Hall Ulverston until Friday.

Review by Nicholas James Emerson