Menier Chocolate Factory
Reviewed on Wednesday 13th May 2015
Communicating Doors goes beyond a typical Alan Ayckbourn play. The comedy is a little more stylistic whilst the theme sees the comedy borderline with a (fluffy) thriller/sci fi drama.
Rachel Tucker stars as a dominatrix who, in the process of fleeing for her life, stumbles into a cupboard and finds herself twenty years in the past.
After realising lives are in danger, she teams up with Ruella (Imogen Stubbs) to change the course of events. The time travel element is to be taken with a pinch of salt; Ayckbourn's sci fi rules may not be quite as complex as Doctor Who's, but it's a fun premise for a play.
Both Tucker and Stubbs bring feistiness and charm; their characters are from different worlds but form a strong alliance. The duo are joined by Lucy Briggs-Owen (who delights as Jessica, stealing some of the biggest laughs) for the evening's funniest scene which takes place on a balcony in the second act. It is comic perfection.
Although it's a shame that various scenes haven't been tightened for this revival, Communicating Doors is fantastic fun if you take it for what it is. I realise that some may find the piece slightly dated or a little bizarre, but it is harmless and hugely enjoyable.
Communicating Doors is a character driven comedy with a twist, and Ayckbourn sprinkles a dabbling of heart over the final scene which concludes with a heart-warming turn.
Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)
Communicating Doors runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 27th June 2015. Please visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com for info and tickets.
Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan