With an incredible cast, this play was true enjoyment. After a major change of career, Alec Firth has been working quietly as the owner of Firth’s Bookshop for the past few years. But when he hires Liz to work in the shop, he discovers someone who makes him feel alive again. Alec’s wife Maggie is going to spend Easter weekend on a packaged tour – “three capitals in five days, and the tulip fields” – giving Alec and Liz the perfect opportunity for a secret tryst in Spain, where they will attempt Diagram 9 from their favourite sex manual.
Fate, however, has much more in store for Alec. Before she leaves, Maggie buys herself a new puppy that, unhousebroken and unimmunized, cannot be left in a kennel while Alec is away. So he comes up with a contingency plan, and Liz and Alec are back on track. Until a call comes to advise that Alec’s mother, Phoebe, has checked herself out of her care home (aptly named Summer End). Convinced that it’s a dump and wanting to spend Easter with her family, she is not going anywhere. To try and save himself, Alec suggests that his son Jamie could come and take care of her, despite Maggie pointing out that Alec hasn’t spoken to either of his children in over a year. But Alec is determined and calls his son.
Unbeknownst to him, the children bring their own problems. Jamie has broken his ankle and is dealing with an infection that requires constant care and assistance. Still determined to make his flight, and after handing Jamie a large amount of cash for food and incidentals, Alec is relieved when Jamie tells him that his daughter Mandy has left her boyfriend and is coming to the house for the holiday. Believing that Mandy will care for her grandmother, he calls Liz and tells her he will be there to pick her up in few minutes. That is until, to Alec’s complete shock and Phoebe’s glee, Mandy walks in, heavily pregnant.
Performances through to October 8, 2016 at the Metro Theatre.