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Down With Skool! (Frinton Theatre)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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I don't know about putting your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington, but I'm quite sure that you should never even consider entrusting your small sons to St Custard's School!

Robin Brooks has made the first adaptation for the stage of the Nigel Molesworth books written by Geoffrey Willans and illustrated by Ronald Searle.

Frinton Summer Theatre
Sean McLevy directed the première production at the Frinton Summer Theatre. There's a clever set by Peter Hutchings and costumes allowing for quick changes of character by Martin Robinson.

Three actors play all the parts. The stroppy schoolboy "hero" is played by Matthew Townsend, grumpy faced and grubby kneed. Jennifer English is new boy Basil Fotherington-Thomas, fresh from over-indulgence by his wealthy parents and distinctly dim, if willing to please and (just occasionally) to learn.

Chameleon actor Julian Harries plays just about everyone else, from the whack-it headmaster Mr Grimes through the languid head boy to the Fotherington-Thomas parents. His instant switches from one character – not to mention sex – to another is the major delight of the show.

Who said that our time at school constituted the happiest days of our life? S/he obviously never went to St Custard's.