Ray Cooney's revival of William Douglas Home's 1947 comedy about an aristocrat failing to face up to post-war social change. However, he is forced to take action when his estate comes under threat from socialists.
Who's In It?
Edward Fox (inevitably) plays the eccentric buffer Earl Lister, whose butler and son end up standing as (respectively) the Conservative and Socialist candidates in a 1945 by-election. There are also good performances from Polly Adams as the scatty Countess who is reduced to doing her own housework and from Carli Norris as the son's millionaire American girlfriend.
What They Say About It
"I'm ashamed to say I enjoyed this production thoroughly while cheerfully despising its underlying ideology... Cooney creates the right spirit of upbeat daffy goodwill," Paul Taylor, The Independent.
"Its world of savvy butlers and saucy maids is hardly state-of-the-nation stuff. But, dash it all, it's darned good fun, what!" Maeve Walsh, The Independent on Sunday.
"Since it is not a particularly witty example of its genre one is bound to ask the reason for its revival now. Is it that it offers yet another chance for Fox to play the eccentric buffer? Or has enough time passed for the play to have acquired some period interest?" Benedict Nightingale, The Times.
Where You Can See It
The Chiltern Hundreds is at the Vaudeville Theatre, London WC2 (0171- 836 9987) to 12 Feb