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See How They Run

Published Thursday 6 July 2006 at 12:25 by Jeremy Austin

There is surely a no more enjoyable night out in the West End than this classic forties farce.

With a consummate cast, a real appreciation of the pace and timing of the piece and - fundamentally - a script that somehow turns a dated format into a self-referential piece of post-modern humour, See How They Run should indeed run.

The quality of Philip King’s play is key. So loveable are the characters, so contrived are the twists and turns of the plot and so knowing the digs at the genre, that it would be pretty hard to do a bad job of presenting it.

Here Douglas Hodge has done anything but. The devil is in the detail of the performances - the winks, nods and mimes that energise the humour and push it forward.

It is a quality ensemble piece and to pick out one performer would be unfair to the rest. Casting is perfect but Natalie Grady, making her West End debut as Ida, the necessary earthy maid, is a joy to watch.

The real star, however, is the naive joy of the piece, the echo of more innocent times. And of course Tim Shortall’s set, which lifts the heart as soon as the curtain rises and the French windows stand there open. Hip hip for British farce.

Production information

Duchess Theatre, London, June 29-October 28

Philip King
Douglas Hodge
Matthew Byam Shaw, Nica Burns, Max Weitzenhoffer, Ian Lenegan, Ian Osbourne
Nicholas Blane, Nancy Carroll, Adrian Fear, Natalie Grady, Julie Legrand, Chris MacDonnell, Nicholas Rowe, Jo Stone-Fewings, Tim Pigott-Smith
Running time:

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014