Review: Laughs aplenty as Millennium Stage Productions stages comic double bill

COMIC CAPERS The cast of Millennium Stage Production's Basil the Rat.

COMIC CAPERS The cast of Millennium Stage Production's Basil the Rat.

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There were plenty of laughs to be had in Strictly Sex Factor (on ice), the opening one act play in an entertaining comedy double bill performed by Millennium Stage Productions.

Tony Sutcliffe led the cast as the long-suffering chairman of an amateur dramatics group struggling to keep its audience in the face of competition from TV talent shows.

Jai Jai Ekins relished his role as sniping group member Bernard, while Jeanette Kendall was spot on with her portrayal of highly-strung Margaret.

But it was Shirley Cunningham as slow-witted and kind-hearted Joyce who won the biggest laughs, gamely strapping on roller skates for a memorable performance of Summer Holiday to the tune of Gangnam Style.

There was a real warmth to the show that had us all rooting for the group to succeed in their comeback plans – and for the audience member who got up to be their guinea pig.

The fun continued with an energetic performance of Basil the Rat, an episode in the hit show Fawlty Towers.

Tackling such an iconic comedy was always going to be a challenge, but the cast pulled it off thanks to wonderful performances from Kyle Barrett as Basil Fawlty, Christine Roberts as Sybil Fawlty and Brendan Lynn as Manuel.

There were screams from the audience as a rat flew off the stage and a gun was fired, and yet more laughs as attempts to hide the rat from a hygiene inspector became ever more farcical. A great night’s entertainment all round.