Mates in Chelsea tells the riotous story of how the other half (exceedingly wealthy) section of society lives and their outlook on life, multiple houses to live and holiday in, and the luxury of being able to go on holiday anywhere anytime. Sounds perfect, what could go wrong?
Theodore ‘Tug’ Bungay (Laurie Kynaston) believes his title of Viscount is all the work he needs to do, although he is doing nothing. His housekeeper, Mrs Hanratty (Amy Booth-Steel) looks after his home, cooking and answering the door. Her quick-witted comments and take on her employer’s life. This reminded me of the role of Jeeves in the famous PG Wodehouse books Jeeves and Wooster.
Charlton Thrupp, or Charlie to his “friends” (George Fouracres), returns from a cultural holiday in Afghanistan. Soaking up the culture he is wearing an all-sandy brown outfit made by the finest cultural stylist in London. Looking totally out of place on his return to Chelsea though. However, he isn’t bothered by the remarks thrown at him and uses quick-fire humour to deflect any comments.
The play, directed by Sam Pritchard, descends into many farcical scenes. Many of these are led by Charlie whose carefree outlook on life allows him not to take things too seriously as he says “…benefits of possessing a stupendous amount of wealth and privilege is I can pretty much do anything” and from the stories he tells Tugs he pretty much has.
Act Two brings a very short break at the family castle. Which is up for sale and has been earmarked by a Russian buyer, but which one as at the last count four turned up to view the property!
The play offers plenty of comedy and a selection of impressive stage effects. However, the second act does lack the same slickened performances that you see in the first act. Don’t be put off: it’s an entertaining night at the theatre.
Review: Elaine Chapman