Funny About Love (Sheringham)

You expect even the frothiest of comedies to offer more than superficial fun. But Terence Frisby’s “Funny About Love” has considerable bite as well.

promotional artwork
promotional artwork

Frisby himself is the director for this opening production in the summer repertory season at Sheringham's Little Theatre. It has been smartly designed by Kees Van Woerkom to minimise the disadvantages of the small stage and Frisby's cast does him proud.

It boasts two young actors at the start of their professional careers – Maeve Smyth, who plays Larissa Tucker, is a talent to watch for the future. Luke Francis plays the young husband Darren, who Larissa has just ditched in favour of her much older (and, she thinks, much wealthier) boss Piers (James Hirst).

Not unnaturally, Piers' wife Rosie is aggrieved at the whole situation. Mary Lincoln takes us deep into the mind of this childless woman, compensating for a marriage rapidly acquiring mildew through voluntary work for Amnesty International and Greenpeace. You start by finding Rosie brittle, and end by rooting for her wholeheartedly.

Piers of the failing business does have a brace of priceless assets, two sketches by Turner. Hirst makes his bumbling incompetence at relationships a fine balance between irritation (the man just can't get the point, any point) and hilariousness.

Where does Darren fit into all this? His first instinct is to make a beeline for Rosie, only her reactions initially are all designed to put him even more at a disadvantage. Francis conveys the insecurities of a young man whose life so far has had precious little stability in it very well, and we end up on his side as much as on Rosie's.

And what is the fate of those million-pound assets, the Turner seascapes? That you will have to find out for yourselves. But be quick about it; the play has a shorter run than last year's productions.

Funny About Love plays at the Little Theatre, Sheringham until 30 July.