People by Alan Bennett

Tue 23rd May to Sat 27th May 2023

Did you know that a porn movie was filmed in Market Harborough last week and capacity audiences watched it at the town’s theatre? True – but it wasn’t quite as you might imagine. It was all in the safe hands of Alan Bennett. His comedy, People, deals with issues around securing the future of an ancestral home. Hiring it out to a porn film company was an option.

As is customary with Bennett there were some sparkling turns of phrase and witty comments. Although by and large the 13-strong cast, directed by Neil Kitson, delivered them clearly, some seemed to rely on the words selling themselves. Consequently, some of its cut and thrust was lost due to a lack of timing and sharpness. This may have improved after the first night.

There were some impressive performances too. Christine Faulconbridge and Nicky Mawer as Lady Stacpoole and her ‘companion’ Iris, were an excellent double act whose sense of timing was exemplary. Tony Price wallowed in the glorious language of his role as Ralph Lumsden, of the National Trust. Joff Brown set the stage alight with a lively performance as porn film director Mr Theodore. Amy Bradshaw and Colin Jaycocks, as porn stars Brit and Colin, also caused a few titters.

The attractive and flexible set was designed by Ron Kirk. The Enthusiastic cast was completed by Howard James, Lin Hinnigan Leach, David Quayle, Ben Lewis, Teresa Quigley, Andrew Maltman and Charlie Sinclair.

Review by Gordon Birch in the Harborough Mail

Photographs by John Harrison