Inspired by the cut glass wit of Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward, this play is a modern comedy of manners. Rodden is Lauren, a ‘resting’ actress, with nothing but her Coward plays and bottles of cheap plonk for company, which - apart from the work situation - is just how she likes it. But soon she is swamped by her feuding adolescent parents and a war of fruity vowels begins.
Highly crafted and with plenty of lovingly researched detail, Katherine Rodden’s play is an enjoyable, contemporary nod to a bygone era. However, there are times when it enters sitcom territory as subtext becomes text and too much is revealed. Coward would have undoubtedly found this vulgar and a good deal - including an under-baked subplot involving two suitors - could be shaved off.
But the actors clearly relish all the horsing around and the energy on stage is high. Rodden does a neat line in self-obsessed actresses, while Alan Booty as her philandering father is reminiscent of Stephen Fry. When he and his wife - Rachel Dobell - reconcile they do so without bells and whistles, cutting through the froth to provide a flicker of genuine feeling.