Review: Trouser-dropping, wife-swapping hotel farce

Chris Sheridan, John Goodrum and David Martin in Rumpus Theatre's production of Bedside Manners at Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield.
Chris Sheridan, John Goodrum and David Martin in Rumpus Theatre's production of Bedside Manners at Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield.
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“Is this a private party or can anyone join in?”

Ten little words produce the biggest laugh in the standout scene of a riotous romp at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre.

The question arises when two men are caught in a state of undress in a hotel, where one is trying to strip the trousers off the other.

Losing one’s clothes and modesty is nothing new in farce, in fact it’s a staple ingredient along with mistaken identities, fraught relationships, dodgy phones and multiple doors.

All this is served up in Bedside Manners, the second offering in the theatre’s Spring Play Season.

There’s a large nod towards Fawlty Towers in this production where the lead character is a stand-in hotel manager who has little interest in ensuring customers have the best possible stay.

In the place of lanky John Cleese barking orders and running around like a demented gazelle is the diminutive John Goodrum who never short-changes his audience in milking the comedy out of crazy situations.

He’s aided and abettedby David Martin as a suave guest looking for passion with his gin-soaked glamorous mistress (played by Amanda Howard, a nervy, novice adulterer (played by Chris Sheridan) and his short-sighted, chocaholic love interest (Susan Earnshaw).

Bedside Manners, directed by Karen Henson and John Goodrum, runs at the Pomegranate until Saturday, January 30.

The final play of the season, Sign of the Times, will be staged in Chesterfield from February 16 to 20.