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Theatre Review: Auntie Agatha Comes to Tea

Lorna Irvine reviews a 'fun and unsparing' production.

There are some deliciously cynical lines at the scabrous little heart of this, George Milne's debut for PPP, a co-production with Aberdeen Performing Arts: one being, “Auld folk never buy full-size cartons of milk...always planning ahead- or not, as the case may be…”

Ouch. And helming such withering words are the ever wonderful Jimmy Chisholm, giving great Chisholm with a gleeful cackle as racketeer Martin and Andrew Byatt as seemingly innocent brother Damien, who is more of a slow- burn in his performance... he nails it, and by the second act, is fabulous.

Both men appear like stains on chintz, sitting in their bland show home, and a moral debate about killing their sweet little Auntie Agatha (the usually dependable Kay Gallie, sadly a little out of her depth here) sees them justifying all the methods of poisoning Madeira cake and sugar lumps. Of course, the old dear is one step ahead of them- all too aware of their ploy, having dabbled in some criminal behaviour herself. After all, her cat is called 'Scarface'.

Predictable? No matter. John Bett's unfussy direction keeps it fun and unsparing, ensuring that this most aggressive afternoon tea party is not all tea and cake but meaty in its every bite. I hate pan drops too, but I quite fancy some Madeira cake.

Tags: theatre

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