Birds of a Feather - Grand Theatre

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Fine wine, antiques and good friendships all improve in worth and quality as the years pass but what of situation comedies?

As various theatrical spin offs which have visited the Grand over the years have revealed, not everything dusted down for the stage has the makings of a vintage.

So what of this particularly British (though it was screened in 30 countries) blend of comedy and pathos?

Well, during its 102 televised episodes it peaked at 20 million viewers so it’s hardly surprising tickets have been selling well for something which hasn’t seen an original script on screen since Christmas Eve 1998.

Obviously it helps that its three original stars have teamed up to recreate their characters of feisty sisters Sharon (Pauline Quirke) and Tracey (Linda Robson) and their tarty neighbour Dorien (Lesley Joseph).

It also helps that much has been made of Quirke’s recent weight loss (cleverly written into the script).

But the biggest part of this stage success is the freshness of the script. Programme notes reveal much of the history with other events (births, deaths, divorces, laptops etc) explained along the way in a script which is as fresh as last year’s street riots and this year’s continuing recession.

The three actresses clearly enjoy being back together and apart from the occasional scene changing necessity for padding the whole thing moves along at a refreshing pace.