Plenty of laughs from beyond the grave
DAVE Thursby, a comedy legend, is dead and resting in peace, which is more than can be said for his reputation when revelations about his life begin to emerge.
Wife After Death is a gentle comedy from the pen of Eric Chappell, pictured, the Lincolnshire-born author with a string of classic TV hits to his name, including the ever popular Rising Damp.
As we enter the theatre, we gain our first glimpse of the stage set, a bright smart living room, but then the lights dim, dramatic music assaults our ears and the lights return to reveal an open coffin in the spotlight.
Friends and family are gathering for the funeral of the much-loved Dave Thursby; a man who possessed the likeability factor and dominates this play through his absence.
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Holly Mapletoft is his wife Laura, a widow who wears her grief like a fashion accessory. Meanwhile, his loyal scriptwriter, Harvey Barrett (Bruce Bourquin), successfully attracts the disdain of his wife (Anna-Maria Vesey) for amusing but inappropriate quips.
Armed with a handkerchief large enough to house a circus, Jerry Smith is the grieving agent who finds solace in his former client's post-death earning potential and Michelle Willoughby is his dowdy wife.
There is nothing frumpy about Kay, Dave's mysterious first wife, and Cheryl Smith brings a hint of Julie Walters to this floozy.
As they reminisce and the truth emerges, they discover a Dave they didn't know; a man who didn't like them, possessed a ruthless streak, was a compulsive philanderer and may even have committed murder.
Shakespeare first acknowledged that truth will out, and in Dave's case it does but he also rewards us with the biggest laughs of the night courtesy of his ashes.
The show runs until Saturday.
To book tickets, contact the Louth Playgoers' box office on 01507 600350.