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Hay Fever

Hay Fever

“Couldn’t you see that all my flippancy was only a mask, hiding my real emotions – crushing them down desperately!” Read more …

Welcome to a village idyll, home to the eccentric Bliss family. Siblings Simon and Sorel are speculating about whether their retired actress mother, Judith, might return to the stage, as their father, David, attempts to write his new novel. This evening they have each invited a guest to stay at their rural retreat. As the party settle down to a post-dinner parlour game, the hapless visitors become playthings in the Bliss’ self-made melodrama.

Revelation, romance, and outright outlandish behaviour set the tone of this 1920s dark comedy. Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh joins with Citizens Theatre to present this riotous farce charting the unconventional antics of a self-dubbed ‘bohemian’ family of four. Award-winning Artistic Director of Citizens Theatre, Dominic Hill takes on this funny and biting exploration of the games people play to avoid confronting the realities of life.

The critical consensus

This is the most human of comedies that basks in its subjects own attention-seeking frailty with deceptively frothy abandon.

****(*)Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 15/03/2017

It is unlikely that any of this – perfectly decent though it surely is – will linger too long in the memory.

***(*)(*)Hugh Simpson, All Edinburgh Theatre, 15/03/2017

It’s a piece of candyfloss wrapped around betrayal, jealousy and eccentricity. And there’s plenty of Coward aphorisms.

****(*)Ken Wilson, TVBomb, 15/03/2017

It may seem peculiar in the strange times we are living through to be indulged in the fripperies of the decadent upper classes, but sooth, this bit of hay fever has been heavily pollenated with laughter and we can all do with some of that.

****(*)Irene Brown, Edinburgh Guide, 15/03/2017

One really ought to see this charming play. Crafted Rom-Com/Ham-Dram farce at its finest – a meringue of exquisite, triumphant form over substance.

****(*)John Kennedy, The Edinburgh Reporter, 15/03/2017

Hay Fever is a spry and fun romp with Hill's distinctive directorial flavour.

***(*)(*)Lorna Irvine, The List, 16/03/2017

There’s as yet little about this production that’s particularly memorable—the final curtain notwithstanding.

***(*)(*)Paul F Cockburn, Broadway Baby, 16/03/2017

If the acting occasionally borders on hysterical or slips into caricature, it can perhaps be forgiven.

****(*)Ben Reiss, Plays to See, 16/03/2017

The whole production seems weighed down by clutter that just won’t let Coward’s dialogue speak for itself.

***(*)(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 18/03/2017

The most impressive quality on display here is the performers’ ability to bring recognisable qualities to these broad characters.

****(*)Allan Radcliffe, 17/03/2017

Gradually the comic force of the plot takes over, but there are fewer laughs than there should be.

***(*)(*)Mark Fisher, The Guardian, 22/03/2017

This is Coward funnier, yet less frivolous, and darker than we usually see him. A treat for fans, no doubt, and an unexpected pleasure for sceptics such as myself.

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 04/04/2017

Hay Fever is effervescent with Spring spirit, ideal light-touch entertainment that will illicit many a giggle, and preserves Coward’s refreshing honesty about life, relationships and polite conversation.

***(*)(*)Harriet Brace, The Reviews Hub, 07/04/2017

Features about Hay Fever

Preview--Hay Fever at The Royal Lyceum

John Kennedy, The Edinburgh Reporter, 22/02/2017

Where and when?

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh from Friday March 10, 2017, until Saturday April 1, 2017. More info:

Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow from Wednesday April 5, 2017, until Saturday April 22, 2017. More info:

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