Wit kept packed house laughing

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Acorn Antiques: The Musical - Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

A PACKED house at the Lowther Pavilion found the Clifton Theatre Academy’s inaugural show hugely entertaining.

Director Peter Taylor has trawled the Fylde coast to put together this talented cast and his four principals are outstanding.

Helen Barrow, back on the boards after 20 years, is perfect in tone, posture and timing as Miss Babs.

The comical Emma Norman is just right as the marginally eccentric Miss Berta and Charlotte Dalton ( brilliant with her blazing eyes) is accomplished as the scheming Miss Bonnie.

Victoria Wood has invested the show with some wickedly funny lines and parodies everything from Les Miserables to Chariots of Fire, acidly contrasting the world of Vim and Duraglit with that of Baristas and Tanning.

There are very strong performances from Ian Edmundson, Joe

Appleton, Megan Edmundson, Michael Cosgrove and Derek Winward, but it is a show headed by the memorable character of the hunched and Brummie menial Mrs. Overall, superbly played by Emma Louise Bennett. Julie Walters was no better

Only the ballads are mediocre, undermined by the self-parody which runs through all the characters, but the many catchy numbers, belted out on the keyboards in familiar Victoria Wood style, are enhanced by the first-class choreography of Sarah Appleton.

Costumes, special effects, lighting, an ingenious set and, thankfully, top-quality sound all add to the verve, vivacity and wit of a clever creation.

The production runs until Saturday at 7.30pm.