Based on the 1954 film by Richard Gordon, Doctor In The House whisks on its way for a UK tour. As soon as the house lights dim, the slapstick begins with the stage manager announcing that the leading lady has fallen ill and asking (perfectly appropriately): “is there a doctor in the house?”
From then on, we know we are in for an evening of hilarity. It’s not long before a squeaky-voiced Joe Pasquale comes bounding on to the stage, offering his help and claiming to be a doctor! Pasquale starts off the evening’s entertainment by providing us with a dose of his stand-up routine involving audience members,
Pasquale does have a likable warmth and is not only a great entertainer, but proves himself to be a good actor by keeping his performance as medico Tony Grimsdyke real, while narrating the proceedings by slipping back to his own personalitywhen needed.
The plot is simple in the extreme and at times it has you crying with laughter, but also wondering why you are reacting in that way. Nevertheless, it’s well played by a strong company of theatre veterans, and superbly directed by Ian Talbot.
Gay Soper as the very military matron and a svelte Emma Barton plays Grimsdyke’s long-suffering girlfriend, complete with a very convincing French accent, Some great comedy moments also come from Allison McKenzie’s tomboyish Ozzy, Rachel Bayton’s prim and proper Janet, Peter Dunwell’s larger-than-life Bromley, Philip Langhorne’s venerable Simon, and Robert Powell as surgeon Sir Lancelot Spratt.
Paul Farnsworth’s set is suitably chaotic, complete with a moose’s head that pours beer and the most hilarious pre-show and interval music I have ever heard. This ranges from “The teddy bears’ picnic” to Doris Day’s “Whip crack”. It all quite frankly leaves you with your head spinning, and definitely asking: "is there a doctor in the house”?