Several funny things happened at the Dolman Theatre last night in Newport Playgoers musical production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
Pseudolus, a Roman slave attempts to bargain his freedom with his master, Hero by tricking Lycus, a buyer and seller of lovely young courtesans into giving the beautiful Philea to his master even though she has already been bought by the ferocious Captain Miles Gloriousus. As Pseudolus devises a plan, chaos ensues and belly laughs are galore as the comedy unfolds.
Steve Gerrish heads the cast as Pseudolus, in a role originally brought to acclaim by Frankie Howerd in the West End and delivers comic timing to full effect in what is a physically demanding role encompassing song and dance routines and lots of movement.
There are many strong performances from supporting cast members, including Sam Williams as Hero and the delightful Victoria Currie as his love interest Philea. The pair steal the show with some wonderful vocal performances. Also of note were splendid performances from Chris Edmunds, Rob Jacob and Stephen Saunders as well as the three young Proteans who changed roles and costumes at lightning speeds. The Five Courtesans (see them dance!) also displayed much in the way a very appealing stage presence.
Anyone who thought classic comedy was dead can think again as A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum is alive and well at the Dolman right up until September 15. Don’t miss it!
- A version of this review by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus during September 2007.