When was the last time you saw a play? Was it a while ago? Or have you never seen one? Well now is the time to change this with the fantastic Relatively Speaking. Relatively Speaking is a play by Alan Ayckbourne and originally written and treading the boards in the 1960’s hence this is the timeline for the play.
Greg has been dating Ginny and the first scene opens in her flat with him in her bed. Before you even hear any words spoken, the actions of Greg set the scene for humour with his bedsheet shenanigans and espressionate face. Ginny is a modern girl about town living in London. Her latest love interest is Greg, who is besotted with her but also concerned about the number of flowers and chocolates she seems to have around her flat. And even more he finds a pair of men’s slippers under her bed. Her last lover was an older man and this doesn’t help Greg’s confidence in their relationship. Not quite trusting her he finds an address which she says belongs to her parents. It is questionable why you would write your own parents address down so when she tells Greg she is going to see her parents he decides to follow her.
The Willows is a beautiful house in the country and home to Philip and Sheila. They are having breakfast in their garden. This is the address written that Greg has found and soon enough both Greg and Ginny turn up (separately) at the house.
This is a play of misunderstandings which are brilliantly executed. The ‘lightbulb’ moment as the audience realises bit by bit the truth of the situation is momentous. The laughter is infectious and the atmosphere is electric as you just can’t quite work out what will happen next.
What makes this wonderful witty play work is the delivery of the lines, executed perfectly by the most excellent cast.
Greg is played by Antony Eden who has perfect comic timing. His reactions say so much and he is very believable in the role. He opens the first scene and really sets the scene for the rest of the show. Antony is absolutely fantastic as Greg.
Ginny is played by Lindsey Campbell and gives a polished performance of the flirtatious Ginny who is not great at lying and trying to hide the real reasons why there are so many flowers and chocolates in her flat. Lindsey is fabulous as Ginny and gives a warm affable performance. Liza Goddard plays Sheila and is perfect as the dizzy blonde wife who doesn’t always get what is going on. Liza’s comic timing is wonderful and she is an absolute dream in the role. Robert Powell plays Philip and is so professional in his role. He provides humour and can be serious one moment and funny the next – all totally believable. He is a joy to watch and commands the stage easily.
The play is well cast and beautifully executed. And the sets are also impressive. There is no reason not to see this play. And relatively speaking, this is simply one of the best plays you will ever see.
Relatively Speaking is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 19th November.