THE Dinner Party at Altrincham Little Theatre is a bizarre if somewhat word-stretched comedy by Neil Simon.

It’s typical Simon, if only for its one liners.

It’s about six supposed strangers who find themselves locked in a posh Parisian restaurant and are forced to dine together.

Later it transpires that some of them already know each other.

First the men, Claude, Albert and Andre, arrive and they are obviously strangers to one another.

Played respectively by Steve Cunio, John Westbrook and Arthur Hulse, all have suffered from divorce.

They are a mixed bag, mixed up even more when the ladies arrive.

Mariette, Yvonne and Gabrielle ensure the men meet their match.

Emily Duffy, Christine Perry and Kathryn Fennel as the three women make an immediate connection with the opposite sex.

Their past relationships are expertly revealed through some powerful duologues in which they analyse their former marriages.

The skill employed by the six actors is exceptional and all are stars in their own way.

On balance, I would say that it is the women who are the tour de force, especially at the end.

When late comer, Gabrielle, a seductive Kathryn Fennell, arrives, she stirs up deep-seated anxieties and feelings about her own and the other characters’ relationships.

Thanks to director, John Chidgey, who ensures perfectly timed interaction between these ill-paired characters, the play hits all the ticks for a successful production.

As for the ending? Wait and see. And what an impressive set!

* The Dinner Party is at Altrincham Little Theatre until Saturday. For tickets, telephone 0161 928 1113 or book on line.

Star rating: * * * *