Feverish comedy is a class act

MAKING hay while the sun shines later this month will be the Company of Ten as the St Albans drama group gets its new season underway.

The season opener is Hay Fever, Noel Coward’s first and arguably his best comedy, which centres on the arty Bohemian Bliss family living in a country house on the bank of the Thames and hosting a weekend house party.

The rudeness and bad manners of the Bliss family knows no bounds as they subject their unfortunate guests to their eccentric behaviour with chaotic and hilarious results.

They mock and parody the stiff-lipped non-communication of the English upper classes and almost everything they say is, invisibly, in inverted commas.

The social embarrassment triggered off by eccentric behaviour leads to complications and the expected pairings are soon trying it on with someone else which leads to mayhem.

Although Hay Fever is now a period play in the sense that it is set in the twenties, it is not dated and is a fine example of how Coward depicted a cameo of English life.

The play runs from next Friday, September 17, until September 25 in the Abbey Theatre and tickets are available from the box office on 01727 857861.