IT was my first visit to Frinton Summer Theatre, with the chance to see Don’t Dress For Dinner, an adaptation of the French playwright Marc Camoletti’s comedy.

It’s a chaotic evening. Bernard plans a romantic weekend with his French mistress (Suzanne) while his wife (Jacqueline) is away.

Only one problem, when Jacqueline finds out that Bernard’s best friend (Robert) is also coming to stay, she cancels her plans to visit her mother and decides to stay, because she’s having an affair with Robert!

Add to this that the cook is mistaken for the Bernard’s mistress and is called Suzette, also shortened to Susie like Suzanne. The lies spiral out of control and the stories keep changing.

It was the perfect, fun play for an evening at Frinton Summer Theatre, which radiated a sense of community. From the beautiful stage set-up within The McGrigor Hall, to the talented volunteers who sell drinks, raffle tickets and aid the production, the experience of the theatre really shines here, as creative people are collaborative people.

The stage design was simplistic, yet beautiful, really immersing the audience and welcoming us into the farmyard home of Bernard and Jacqueline. The rustic brick wall design, to the wooden barn doors and floral sofa made the set authentic, and such a simplistic living room space aided the comedy.

A favourite feature of this production was the delivery of long, complex lines. For example, nearing the end of the show Robert (played by Chris Jordan) outlines the labyrinth of lies that have been built throughout the show, listing everything that has been said to try and get the story straight. Without breathing, he must have been speaking for close to 2 minutes and I was so impressed by how he remembered this long-winded line that he convinced me of the lies.

However, it was not just the delivery of the lines that were excellent, but the physical humour as well. Don’t Dress For Dinner is known for being a farce, meaning it is a comedy that depends on buffoonery and ludicrous situation, and this is where we see attributes of slapstick comedy.

A special mention must go to Becky Hoyle who played Suzette the chef, as her physicality brought her character to life. The director, Patrick Marlowe, should be very proud of this production.

Don’t Dress for Dinner ran until August 19

Jaz Skingle