Where once John Godber was satisfied with a sparse small empty space for his plays, these days, he has the luxury of choosing the lofty heights of a stately home.

His new comedy Black Tie and Tales is a behind the scenes glimpse at the Bagley Hall Hotel - home of the writer's recent murder-mystery {Screaming Blue Murder::T01161391263}.

Here we find hired hands Ronnie (Gordon Kane) and Keith (Rob Angell) clearing up the function room after a charity event. Ronnie, a down-to-earth northerner, has had enough of these functions, the guests they attract and their strange, posh ways.

Of course, Godber is on familiar territory exploring the great British class divide. With the use of flashbacks we get to see what went on at the party, including a speech by an author (also played by Kane) denouncing all those in attendance.

Fiona Wass and Amy Thompson are on hand to play a variety of somewhat caricatured female characters, including the 'trophy wives' of the annoying business-types at the party. And, echoing that quintessential Godber trademark evident in Bouncers, we also get lots of rhyming dialogue which serves as a reminder that, when he's on form, Godber can be effortlessly entertaining.

Performances, lighting (Graham Kirk) and set (Pip Leckenby) are all good. The distortion of time is very interesting to watch. Where Black Tie falls down, though, is that it appears to be an hour, 45 minute advert for {Screaming Blue Murder::T01161391263}.

Barely ten minutes passes without a reference to the events of that play. It is a clever idea, as the events in Black Tie take place shortly after those in {Screaming Blue Murder::T01161391263} and the two plays have an inextricable connection. But the effort taken to stress that this is the same Bagley Hall overshadows the production and, in a lot of instances, is confusing and not necessary unless you have seen both works.

- Morgan Sproxton