Alan Bennett wrote A Visit from Miss Prothero, a tidy two-hander, for television in 1978, and now it provides an opportunity for TV and radio presenter Nicholas Parsons to keep his hand in the acting stakes at this year’s Fringe.
After the death of his beloved wife and three decades running Warburtons – the nature of the business is never specified but sounds mind-numbingly tedious – Mr Dodgson has retired. Four months in, he’s discovered a contentedness in a life beyond work thanks to a social whirl of bowling, Rotary and pottery classes.
But peace is disrupted by an impromptu visit from the busybody of the title, who, in the guise of bringing him up to date, makes him question his entire life’s legacy.
Parsons, who is clearly held in high affection by the packed-out audience in real-life, retains our benign sympathy throughout, but the performance kudos belongs to Suki Webster (the comedy actress and improviser and, no stranger to Parsons, a sometime panellist on Just a Minute), who oozes bitterness and faux concern from every poor as Miss Protheroe. Between them, the pair do happy justice to a little Bennett gem.