Belly laughs in Beverly Hills with the Players

California Suite
California Suite

Take a peek inside the California Suite hotel room in the Rossendale Player's latest production, a side-splitting rendition of Neil Simon's famous play.

The play, or four separate playlets, centres around suite 203-204 of a Beverly Hills hotel and the shenanigans of its various guests.

David Rhodes directs a small cast in an often hilarious production, punctuated with plenty of tender moments.

A long play, although I certainly didn't find myself glancing at my watch, saw the audience at times rolling with laughter.

Act One, "Visitor from New York" stars just Kathryn Bland and Kevin Clarke as divorced middle class couple Hannah and William Warren.

The straightest of the four playlets, the story centres around custody of the couple's daughter with Kevin impressing as the sensitive William who has made a new life for himself on the west coast.

Kathryn is equally impressive as his Manhattan workaholic ex, displaying a loud-mouthed belief that belies her brittle self-confidence and ultimate unhappiness.

The pair return in "Visitors from London" with Kathryn taking another lovable loser role as actress Diane Nichols who fails in her bid to win an Oscar. Kevin is a great foil again as her under-stated confused husband.

Players regulars Martyn Frost and Helena Rose Soule elicit plenty of belly laughs in the funniest section of the play about a man who wakes up next to a prostitute in the afore-mentioned suite and his desperate attempts to hide said, sozzled lady from his wife.

Laura Redfearn manages to be funny without actually saying anything in her role as the unwanted Bunny in the bed.

The production ends with a riotous slapstick tale about warring couples on holiday.

"California Suite" runs at the New Millennium Theatre, Waterfoot, until Saturday, April 8th.