Story added:  11:35am Thu Nov 22, 2012
Observational comedy at its best
Playwright Alan Ayckbourn is one of the great masters of human observation and Season’s Greetings at the Lincoln Theatre Royal is one of his best.

This touching comedy about a family Christmas is rich in drama, recognisable characters and absurd situations.

Produced and directed by Ian Dickens at a fast and furious pace, the all-star cast had the audience in fits of laughter.

A striking feature was the elaborate set, depicting a dining room, lounge, hallway, kitchen and stairs to the bedrooms, and it worked well.

Nerdy Neville, played by company regular David Callister, loves everything mechanical and spends most of his time in the shed.

He and his sexually-frustrated wife, Belinda (Michelle Morris from The

Knock) are hosting Christmas festivities at their home.

Guests include lazy but bossy Eddie (Peter Amory from Emmerdale) and his heavily pregnant, nagging, wife Pattie (Nicola Weeks) feeble doctor Bernard (John D. Collins) who entertains the children with his puppet shows, and his drunken wife Phyllis (Karen Ford) Belinda’s frigid sister Rachel (Claire Fisher) and her guest, writer Clive (Nick

Ricketts) and Harvey (Richard Tate) who likes to watch violent films on television.

The action takes place from Christmas Eve to December 27 and sees disagreements about TV violence; an obsession to build remote-controlled Christmas tree lights; accidents while trying to cook the dinner; an attempt at an affair under the Christmas tree; a drunken game of Snakes And Ladders; a rehearsal of the dreadful puppet show, The Three Pigs; and a shooting.

This is a great ensemble piece superbly performed, with lots of chaos and confusion.

It wasa pity there were not more people in the audience as they missed a real treat

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