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The Information on: `Hay Fever'

Who Are They?

Declan Donnellan's production of Noel Coward's 1925 comedy of bohemian manners has divided critics, with some praising its refreshingly over- the-top approach while others have been unimpressed by what they see as its descent into comic caricature.

What's New?

Geraldine McEwan (right) camps it up shamelessly as Judith Bliss, the grande dame presiding over the ritual humiliation of her weekend guests. Monica Dolan and Stephen Mangan are delightfully unrestrained as her mad offspring, while Malcolm Sinclair is suitably distraught as the diplomat.

What They Say About It

"Donnellan vigorously ups the pollen count, creating a madhouse in which bananas are proffered instead of cucumber sandwiches, reducing civilised ritual to a chimps' tea party... All in all, a Hay Fever not to be sneezed at," Paul Taylor, The Independent.

"Something terrible happened to a delectable Noel Coward comedy last night. It was transformed, trashed and travestied by director Declan Donnellan and his well-regarded actors," Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard.

"So don't catch a cold, catch Hay Fever!" Michael Coveney, The Daily Mail.

Where You Can See It

Hay Fever is at the Savoy Theatre, London (0171-836 8888) to 14 Aug