Review: April in Paris at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Photo by Robert Day

Photo by Robert Day

Photo by Robert Day

Photo by Robert Day

Photo by Robert Day

Photo by Robert Day

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

APRIL in Paris was a little gem of a play- short, sweet and lots of fun.

Written by John Godber, it is based on a northern couple who have been married for 28 years and are sick of the sight of each other.

When Bet wins a trip to Paris, she debates on whether to take her husband, Al, who is down as he has been out of work.

They do end up going together and the sights and sounds of the most romantic city in the world rekindles their love.

Joe McGann and Shobna Gulati were brilliant throughout and brought what can be the reality of marriage to the stage.

The constant bickering and the slight put downs must have resonated with some audience members, and at times it seemed quite sad as they struggled to connect again.

However, there are great funny moments throughout- it started off slightly slowly as people adjusted to the humour but as it neared the interval there were bursts of laughter.

Sometimes it seemed as if it was set a few years ago, as the couple got excited about the choice on the ferry menu and were marvelling at the bright lights of the city.

But, it was also very sweet and I was quite glad not to see the characters tapping away on a mobile phone.

I also liked the way it was realistic- there was no lightning bolt moment where the couple suddenly realised how great each other were, and they lived happily ever after.

It showed how the couple slowly warmed towards each other and how they gradually began to open up with the odd comment here and there.

They didn't skip off into the Paris sunset but we saw them face the realities of going back home.

But there was also hope and it showed how although they had their difficulties, they were happy together underneath it all and it was the realities of life which caused problems for them.

The acts are both not too long and it actually flew by.

Praise should go to McGann and Gulati who really made this play work and left you both laughing, and also feeling moved at the struggles the couple faced.

April in Paris is on at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until August 9 at 7.30pm and a matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. Go to www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury or call 0844 8717607.

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