Richard Trinder, Editor

Harrogate Rep. Is Back And On The Piste

Oliver Mellor as Tony the Ski Instructor
Oliver Mellor as Tony the Ski Instructor
Harrogate Theatre has kicked off its new season with a sparkling production of John Godber's On The Piste. Featuring one of the best sets every to grace Harrogate Theatre's stage - including a ski chalet, a sauna, and a working ski slope! - On The Piste is every bit the fun romp through the disaffected lives of a bunch of 30-somethings that John Godber intended. Not one of our protagonists is contented with their relationships, apart perhaps from an over-sexed ski instructor (Oliver Mellor) who needs nothing other than a string of casual relationships to maintain a healthy body and a smug disposition.

As to the 'holidaymakers': Chris (Ewan Goddard) is a radio presenter and a voice over artist - and a bit manic; Mr Bean meets Frank Spencer. He has a wife (Katy Dean) at home and a secretary at the office. His marriage is drifting towards a stalemate and this holiday is going to be decisive for their relationship.

Into this group comes posh, attractive Melissa (Anna Clarke), a rough-and-ready Dave (Ross Waiton) and a jolly but rather pitiful Bev (Janine Mellor). Of course social mayhem ensues. It's classic John Godber; nothing deep and meaningful but a good romp through the pathetic shallowness of first world relationships - and regularly punctuated with some great one-liners.

And, delightfully, Rep. is back in style at Harrogate. With Ira Levin's Deathtrap and The 39 Steps to follow over the next couple of weeks, this looks set to be a sparkling repeat of last year's excellent form.

There's something utterly delightful about having your very own repertory company. It's a chance to wallow in the quality of acting and realise that the actors are not just playing versions of themselves - yes they really can pretend to be other people!

On The Piste is a great choice for an opener; fundamentally shallow but entertaining and amusing. It promises great things for the rest of the rep. season. And that splendid set... it's crying out for some audience participation!

Highly recommended - book now and see all three.

On the Piste - 27th Aug 2019 to 31st Aug
Deathtrap - 3rd Sep 2019 to 7th Sep
The 39 Steps - 10th Sep 2019 to 14th Sep