Theatre review: The Unrest Cure at Pentameters Theatre

P G Wodehouse is brought to life in new comic stage production

P G Wodehouse is the master of misunderstanding and a lover of witty repartee - renowned for creating his own unique caricature on high society England.

So effortless and infamous is his work that it is surely dangerous to compare any modern piece of theatre with the man who came up with the foppish Bertie Wooster.

But this is how The Unrest Cure - actually based on a short story by Edwardian author Saki - has been sold.

And from the outset it really does do Wodehouse well.


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The characters are all spot on; from the meddling young woman with her clipped 1930s radio voice to the bumbling older man whose face gets redder with every disastrous turn.

The stage and costumes have been put together with a real love of the era and there are enough mix-ups and misdemeanours to carry the story through to its witty, though sadly expected, conclusion.

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And it is here that The Unrest Cure fails to live up to its earlier counterparts.

Because Wodehouse always devised plots that twisted and turned and seemed to get even more confusing with the introduction of every new character - in short he was never predictable.

Though writers Simon Godziek and Rob Groves have made a noble effort and the piece is an entertaining diversion from modern life, you can smell the jokes a mile off - even with a timely reference to Schr�dinger’s cat.

But the strong cast takes on the blithe spirit of the 1930s with aplomb. And for the very short time that Steven Blake is on stage, as the alcoholic Uncle Edward in the final scenes, he steals the show.

* The Unrest Cure is showing at the Pentameters Theatre, Heath Street, NW3, until Saturday, November 26.

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