REVIEW: September in the Rain at the Theatre Royal Brighton

Claire Sweeney and John Tompson star in September in the Rain at the Theatre Royal Brighton
Claire Sweeney and John Tompson star in September in the Rain at the Theatre Royal Brighton

FROM a simple concept came a very clever and witty play.

September in the Rain opened at the Theatre Royal Brighton last night (Monday, October 7) and was very well-received by the audience.

I know this because the show, which has a cast of just two and the same set throughout, had the woman sat behind me in stitches at many points.

It centres on Jack and Liz, an older couple looking back on the annual holidays they took to Blackpool over their 40 years together.

Jack (John Thompson) is a gruff Yorkshireman who struggles to show his affection, while Liz (Claire Sweeney) is his bossy wife.

As well as playing themselves in old age and when they were younger, Thompson and Sweeney portray events that happened on their holidays through doing impressions.

Thompson’s bit as a sewage worker he met in their B&B went down a treat, as did Sweeney’s turn as an enraged lorry driver.

But it was the development of the relationship between Jack and Liz, and the gentle love story that ensued, that really won the audience over.

The pair had a great on-stage chemistry, and they performed their way through a fast-paced, dialogue heavy play almost faultlessly.

September in the Rain, written and directed by John Godber, is largely based on his childhood experiences of holidays to the north west coast.

And it’s this first-hand knowledge of the knotted handkerchief and saucy postcards-style getaway that makes for such an endearing and realistic take on the great British seaside holiday.

It’s sure to leave even the most cynical an audience member feeling reminiscent and nostalgic for the good old days of the seaside town.

September in the Rain runs until Saturday.

Tickets are still available, and can be booked by visiting www.atgtickets.com/