Eiffel in love with funny characters
AFTER nine years, Bet and Al's loveless marriage has all the freshness and appeal of a month-old loaf of bread; living under the same roof is all they have in common.
They no longer talk 'to' but 'at' each other, never by name and without any familiar Yorkshire terms of endearment.
He, an unemployed brickie, seeks refuge in his shed and she finds excitement in a £4 red scarf that introduces a brief flash of colour to her drab life.
Yet, Bet dreams of something more and hopes magazine competitions will be her 'get out of jail free' card.
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When Al challenges her competition addiction, she caustically replies, "I'm trying to win a life – away from you".
April In Paris is one of the many successful plays to have flowed from the pen of the prolific John Godber and contains all his signature hallmarks. In particular, his preference for minimalistic stage sets, which in some respects, makes life easier for director Amanda Hodges.
On the other hand, it raises the bar in terms of guiding her actors to work largely without visual props, but Katie Brown and Dean Wright successfully draw us in to their imaginary space. Bet's tenacity pays off when she wins a trip to Paris, an unlikely destination for the unromantic couple, but the magical power of this alluring city should not be underestimated. Unfortunately, the script lacks originality in presenting a tortuous ferry trip and predictable scenarios of novices abroad, our acting duo, however, ensure the maximum extraction of laughter.
When Dean "eats" steak tartare, raw mince, his facial expressions allow us to share every distasteful gulp while Katie's delivery of withering put-downs is delicious.
Just as Bet and Al rediscover love, you'll love Katie and Dean's highly entertaining performance.
The show is now running until Saturday. Tickets cost £6.50 for Mondays, £7 for Tuesday to Fridays and £7.50 for Saturdays. They are available at the Caxton Theatre box office within Grimsby Central Library on 01472 346251.