‘Confusions’ is currently playing at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne.
From a devoted and isolated mother, to her unfaithful traveling salesman husband, through a solicitous waiter to well-heeled diners and an utterly shambolic garden fete, human frailty is laid bare as one hilarious situation after another unfolds. Each of the plays connects to the next through one of its characters until the final one is reached when four people sit alone on park benches.
Confusions | Review
Writer: Alan Ayckbourn
Producer: Stephen Joseph Theatre
There is a reason that Alan Ayckbourn is writing his 80th screenplay this year, because his contribution to British theatre has been outstanding, and Confusions is no exception to this, bringing waves of rich comedy with the subtle undertones of real British 20th century drama.
The production is divided into five segments, which interlink effectively to produce a show that is easy on the eyes, full of laughter and a general pleasure to watch.
The talented cast of five take on a multitude of roles that keep each scene fresh, the well written characters are portrayed excellently and become rapidly relatable. The performers allow for easy empathy as each character compliments one another, with harsh contrasts paving the way for high comical value and entertainment, to pick out one cast member individually for praise is a challenge as they all gelled so well, but Stephen Billington gave an exceptionally great performance with an emotive humour throughout, whilst Elizabeth Boug portrayed life as a single parent in the first piece with a real authenticity.
As this was my first experience watching a play produced by Stephen Joseph Theatre and visiting the Devonshire Park Theatre, I have to say I was very pleased. The set design and creative changes by Michael Holt added an extra dimension to this well produced play. The Eastbourne audience were thoroughly entertained, with laughter so easily at hand in what is a beautiful venue. It left me wanting to see more from the company, and I’ll certainly be returning to Eastbourne Theatres again soon.
It comes as no surprise to me that this production will be heading to America after touring as part of the Brits off Broadway festival, it is a classic play depicting the comical drama and dark humoured side of British culture and is a real insight into the talented works of Alan Ayckbourne.
☆☆☆☆ – The perfect play that epitomises Ayckbourn
Reviewer : Stephen Sheldrake
Photo © Tony Bartholomew
Confusions is playing at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne