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Subversive parody Not: Lady Chatterley's Lover at Newbury Corn Exchange



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Not: Lady Chatterley's Lover, at the Corn Exchange, on Friday, September 24 and Saturday 25.
Review by ROBIN STRAPP

When DH Lawrence’s scandalous novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover was finally published in the UK in 1960, following an obscenity case against the publisher Penguin Books, its notoriety quickly spread and it sold more than three million copies.

The Happy Idiot Company have taken this classic story and created a farcical parody, Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, that’s filled with saucy innuendos, pantomime style gags and outrageous physical comedy.

Not Lady Chatterley's Lover (51671088)
Not Lady Chatterley's Lover (51671088)

Sir Clifford Chatterley (Lawrence Russell) has returned home as a First World War hero, who is now wheelchair bound and has a secret, having lost his legs in combat . Surprisingly he has had them replaced by rather sensual women’s ones wearing fishnet stockings. Yes, it was that kind of hilarious show.

Christina Baston gives a sultry performance as Lady Chatterley, who seeks comfort and sexual pleasure, in the hope of providing her husband an heir, from the handsome muscular gamekeeper Oliver Mellors, played with gusto by Wesley Griffith.

But forming a relationship with the lower classes is certainly not ‘de rigueur’ in this time period and most certainly frowned upon.

There is much fun at their riotous antics as their raucous relationship develops, much to the sheer delight of the audience, who laughed out loud at each outrageous situation, particularly the sex scenes.

Meanwhile, Mrs Bolton (Rebecca McClay) has been employed as a maid to ‘look after’ Sir Clifford in perhaps more ways than one!

Chris Jamieson is the narrator who tries to keep everything in order with voice-over announcements. The cast have a wonderful ‘tongue in cheek’ humour that sparkles as they take their roles seriously while lampooning them at the same time with abundant relish.

Russell’s witty script embraces the novel with so much over the top humour you can’t help but enjoy the absurd situations the cast find themselves in.

Phil Eddollis’ period set design works exceedingly well and the costumes are a delight.

Director Ben Simpson ensures that the production is fast-paced and gives the actors the license and opportunity to develop their roles with spirit.

This show is certainly risqué and irreverent but an absolute hoot!



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