SUMMER END by Eric Chapell, at Altrincham Little Theatre, is about two old folk sharing a room in a nursing home, who interact about a suspected murderous plot.
The manager of the home, played by Kathyrn Fennell, rules her clients with an iron rod disguised as a sweetly coated stick of rock.
She has her hands full with forceful personalities such as Barbara Steel’s sometimes forgetful Emily Baines and her room mate, May Brewer (Christine Perry). These two ladies are the perfect foyle for each other.
Barbara’s Emily can only be described as an old dragon. She is blunt, outspoken, suspicious and unlovable. She famously says “the trouble with old age is the plumbing” as she rushes to the loo. Barbara is totally convincing in this role.
Ian Fensome, who plays Alan, Emily’s son, is not all he seems and, in a good performance, turns out to be pivotal to the plot.
Christine’s pleasant, smiling, May occupies a bed last slept in by a patient who died in suspicious circumstances.
And that is where the fun starts as we try to work out whodunit? We do eventually find out but we enjoy laughter, conversation, and puzzlement along the way.
The play is expertly directed by Lisa Barker who also designed the set which is everything you imagine a retirement home to be.
This well written, fascinating play, is well worth seeing.
* Summer End is at Altrincham Little Theatre until Saturday, May 20. For tickets, priced £9, call 0161 928 1113. Star rating: * * * *