Theatre review: Hatched ‘n’ Despatched at Park Theatre

This mucky ‘50s romp is great fun, says Aline Waites.

This mucky romp through the fifties features hatches and despatches - a christening and a funeral - on the same day with hilariously uncomfortable results. It is 1959 when women wore nipped in waists, tight skirts and stiletto heels.

What is so delightful about this extraordinarily witty play is that it not only takes us back to the music, morals and fashions of the 50s, it also reminds us of the kind of plays we used to love and enjoy. The messages have clarity and we are familiar with the kind of people portrayed. But although it is a kind of old fashioned family comedy drama it has been brought bang up to date. The writers call it a ‘romp through the fifties’– but with sexually explicit scenes and stories that would have been impossible in the fifties. Words the Lord Chamberlain would never have allowed on stage.

The acting is sublime. Wendi Peters as Dorothy – the matriarch who says predictable things like ‘My trouble is I never think of myself, only care for other people’ is a cross between Margaret Thatcher and Edna Everage with a touch of Hyacinth Bucket thrown in. I’m not sure whether this brand of woman still exists but the actress is perfection in the role.

The cast is full of excellence – Director Michael Kirk hasn’t put a foot wrong in choosing his actors. Wendy Morgan beautiful and wistful as the new widow, Dorothy’s downtrodden younger sister, her sexy daughter Diana Vickers and the warring parents of the Christened baby are all so excellently delineated that we in the audience feel like interlopers in the family crises.


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It has a bit of everything including huge commercial possibilities. Tremendous fun.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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