The Helliwells, the Soppitts and the Parkers were all married on the same day in the same chapel. Twenty-five years on they meet up to celebrate their joint wedding anniversaries. Recreating the special moment is all going to plan until the local organist delivers some shocking news: the minister who conducted the service was not authorised to do so and consequently they are all single and carefree.
The thick red curtain lifts to reveal a stunning Victorian sitting room setting (courtesy of Simon Higlett). The audience gasped in admiration. The play, When We Are Married, is just over two hours long, but despite the length it feels slightly rushed towards the end, perhaps because the story is brought to an unsatisfactory, abrupt conclusion with little explanation.
The cast are strong and seem to enjoy frolicking about the Garrick stage to showcase J.B Priestley’s wit and farcical naughtiness. Maureen Lipman is particularly thrilling to watch as the uptight Clara Soppitt. Her character undergoes a mortifying change as her newly unmarried husband realises he is no longer obliged to accept her bullying. The other star is Roy Hudd as the hysterical drunken photographer Henry Ormonroyd. He dances and sings with bounding joy seemingly unaware of what is going on around him.
One last mention must go to Ruby Birtle who is a tour de force as the energetic maid Jodie McNee, she is absolutely hilarious to watch.
A most entertaining comedy – definitely worth going to see.
When We Are Married is on until 26 February. Book When We Are Married tickets here.