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Funny Peculiar (Tour - Darlington)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Funny Peculiar is a comedy by Mike Stott that was first around in the 1970s and I can recall (just) a production starring Robin Kermode as Trevor. We now have a new tour and true to form, like this sort of tour in the 70s and 80s, the cast is made up of actors familiar to us from TV series, mainly soap operas in this case.

The story revolves around Trevor Tinsley (Craig Gazey) who runs a small shop with his wife Irene (Suzanne Shaw). All Trevor thinks and talks about is free love, but his wife does not share his passion! So when the opportunity presents itself, he takes no persuading in delivering groceries to Shirley Smith (Gemma Bissix) as he is aware she shares his outlook on sex. What he does not know is, so does her husband Eric (Sam Nicoll), and busybody Mrs. Baldry (Vicky Entwistle) has been watching and will take no time at all to let everyone know what has happened.

Add into the mix Mrs. Baldry’s son with learning difficulties (excellently played Steven Blakeley) and a mad food fight in the shop with the baker (Simon Naylor) and you have enough mayhem to keep anyone happy.

The play has a lot of bad language, as well as full frontal male nudity, which in the contents of the play add to the story, and each actor makes the most of their role. Although Suzanne Shaw fails to convince as the sexually repressed Irene, until the final scene, where her actions are anything but repressed.

This comedy does rightly have a nostalgic feel about it and some of the dialogue is certainly not pc these days. But Director, Bob Tomson, has made the most of his cast, although this type of play and its content do seem a little out of the ordinary for a Bill Kenwright production. It will be interesting to see if this 70’s revival leads to more shows from this era, such as STEAMING, and even Oh! Calcutta, being given another airing , allowing them to be seen by a whole new generation.


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