Superb from New Theatre Productions on West Dean Gardens return

REVIEW: Confusions, New Theatre Productions, Pergola Theatre, West Dean Gardens

Monday, 6th September 2021, 11:55 pm
Peter Breskal
Peter Breskal

Another summer without New Theatre Productions gracing the gorgeous Pergola Theatre at West Dean Gardens would have been too tough to bear.

Huge credit to company co-chairman Peter Breskal, his casts and his crew for their determination that the show really must go on, albeit in this current later slot rather than their usual July.

The weather gods certainly approved, sending them a glorious September evening for them to charm us with a beautiful delivery of three of Alan Ayckbourn’s set of five playlets under the Confusions title, very skilfully directed by Tiffin Jones to maximum comic effect and also for maximum poignancy.

We laugh at these poor creatures as they fail to connect, but we also sense their vulnerabilities, from the increasingly-drunk, lecherous salesman trying to fill up the other half of his hotel double bed to the erring wife who’s strayed away from her completely uncaring husband.

This was an assured and hugely enjoyable first night from an experienced and hugely able cast: David Young, Nicola Bradford, Jenny Clark, James Woodley, Dennis Harrison, Barbara MacWhirter and Roger Booth, all at home with the particular challenges of open-air theatre.

Together they sent us home with the riotous Gosforth’s Fete, the third of their three chosen playlets. Gosforth’s Fate, more like as the poor man brilliantly masterminds the fete from hell, everything from accidentally broadcasting naughty secrets to nearly electrocuting the visiting dignitary.

A terrific evening – and precisely why we all love New Theatre Productions. Brilliant from Peter Breskal to have made it happen. Brilliant from New Theatre Productions founder John Hyatt for dreaming up such pure pleasure all those years ago.

Remaining performances: Confusions, directed by Tiffin Jones, Tuesday, September 7, Thursday, September 9 and Saturday, September 11.

See How They Run by Philip King, directed by Gill Montgomery, Wednesday, September 8, Friday, September 10 and Sunday, September 12.

No tickets will be sold in advance. The team are asking you to buy your tickets on the night. All performances start at 6.30pm. Tickets will be available from 5pm on performance nights.