REVIEW: A Cricket Match, Connaught Theatre, Worthing

Jenny Funnell and Stephen Beckett in A Cricket Match at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing

Jenny Funnell and Stephen Beckett in A Cricket Match at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing

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THE title may have caused some confusion when A Cricket Match opened at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre yesterday (Tuesday), as the whole of the first act is in fact set in a garden.

When the cricket field did appear in Act 2, Scene 1, I was, unfortunately, largely distracted by the placing of sun loungers over the boundary line!

But these are minor niggles in an otherwise excellent, and very funny play.

As always, Alan Ayckbourn picks at the scars of people’s problems and opens up the wound to expose the inner turmoil.

Stephen Beckett and Jenny Funnell, both experienced actors, faced the challenging task of filling four roles each.

With voices on, voices off and costume changes while voicing two separate characters, they could have been forgiven for the odd slip-up. But I didn’t hear one mistake, either in words delivered or in the voices.

This is where experience pays off!

The play is a stand-alone extract from Aychbourn’s Intimate Exchanges, which consists of eight major stories, all originating from a single opening scene.

A Cricket Match is one of the funniest strands of the 16 possibilities arising from the choices the characters make, and makes a good play in its own right.

The main storyline revolves around the marriages of Celia and Toby, and Rowena and Miles. Things get complicated when Miles and Celia launch into an affair – in the garden shed!

There are some really very funny moments, including an off-stage fight between Toby and Miles, both, of course, played by Beckett, and the whole play is most enjoyable.

It runs until Friday (March 15) at 7.30pm daily. Visit www.worthingtheatres.co.uk to book.