Review: No disapproval for Ayckbourn’s classic

A Chorus Of Disapproval, The Priory Theatre Company, The Priory Theatre, October 27 to November 7

Kevin Wing (Guy Jones) and Cara Gould (Fay Hubbard). Picture: Lewis Brazier
Kevin Wing (Guy Jones) and Cara Gould (Fay Hubbard). Picture: Lewis Brazier

A play that begins at the end - just one aspect of Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus Of Disapproval which deviates from what an audience member might expect from a typical play.

The story revolves around a fictional musical within the play and the various subplots between the aspiring actor Guy Jones, played excellently by Kevin Wing, and his fellow cast members, who all have various motivations, desires and secrets.

Jones joins the amateur operatic society PALOS, and meets the outrageously Welsh director Dafydd ap Llewellyn, played with great gusto and hilarity by James King.

Before long, Jones becomes entangled in different ways with many of the cast members, and it becomes harder and harder for him to please them all, mirroring the musical he performs in.

Despite the slightly confusing plotline, it was directed with great care by Dixie Atkins and this author followed the story relatively easily.

Special mention should go to Graham Beddow, who played the hapless cast member Ted Washbrook, and Cara Gould’s performance as the promiscuous temptress Fay Hubbard had the audience howling with laughter on several occasions.

The sets were simply designed, but with the amount of set changes required this was understandable and was done with the minimum of fuss.

There were one or two moments where the play threatened to get bogged down with exposition, but Ayckbourn’s script ensured these parts were quickly resolved and were usually followed up with a genuinely hilarious scene or two.

Overall, the play was highly enjoyable, and the occasional slow moments were more than made up for over the course of the performance.