Relative Values

This 1951 addition to The Master’s oeuvre had a bum-numbing running time of three hours but thankfully the old-fashioned comedy of manners soon developed into a fast-paced farce which raced along nicely. Blending ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ and ‘Pygmalion’, Rory Bremner’s Max Miller-style Hudson-esque butler Crestwell and Caroline Quentin’s maid-turned-woman of means sparked off each other with brio, but Patricia Hodge’s matriach had the best lines, which were delivered with relish. Set in the family drawing room over a frenetic weekend and interspersed with real and fake newsreels, the fine supporting cast helped make this class warfare period piece a hugely enjoyable experience.

Theatre Royal Brighton, 1 July 2013
Rating: ★★★★☆
Steve Clements

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