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Ten Times Table
11th November 2019 - 16th November 2019
Bill Kenwright presents
The Classic Theatre Company
Hilarious Hit West End Comedy
The committee from hell… and a ‘fête’ worse than death!
Robert Daws leads a star comedy cast including Deborah Grant, Robert Duncan and Mark Curry.
In the long-since ‘grand’ ballroom of the local Swan Hotel, a most miscellaneous assemblage conduct the business of the Pendon Folk Festival… led by excitable chairman Ray…
Unfortunately for Ray, his calamitous committee quickly divides, as his wife Helen has a bone to pick… Add a Marxist schoolteacher, a military dog-breeder and an octogenarian secretary, and the table is set for one of comedy master Ayckbourn’s most hilarious plays – a tumultuous comedy by committee, not to be missed.
Ten Times Table is the inaugural production of The Classic Comedy Theatre Company, produced by Bill Kenwright and his team behind: The Agatha Christie, The Classic Thriller, and The Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Companies – which between them have enjoyed over 15 years of theatrical success across the UK.
Running time: approx. 2 hours 15 minutes, including interval.
Production Photograph by Pamela Raith
Saw the opening night of this, last night. Very funny, and just what we all need right now. Interesting to see such familiar faces from various shows as well. Really enjoyed it, seemed more like panto, (that’s a compliment) so, well done to all the cast, I expect it’s really hard work getting the timings right but you all smashed it. Thank you!
This was Triumph from start to Finish a very Very Funny Rendition Brilliantly Backed up by Superb Acting from all the the Actors but ROBERT DAWS was at his supreme best .If you Haven't booked do it now.
This is not to be missed
Choice Radio Worcester
Anyone who has been on a committee or, heaven forbid, had the dubious pleasure of being the Chair of one, will instantly recognise the scene which awaits them on stage in Alan Ayckbourn's Ten Times Table. In some random room - in this case, the dowdy ballroom of a down at heel hotel - stands a long table surrounded by chairs awaiting... the usual motley bunch of people that make up any committee.
The committee in this case is headed up by Ray - Robert Daws, with his usual flair of portraying the flustered middleman in any argument (and there are plenty) - trying to create the first folk festival for the town. But when it is discovered that in the past, there was the case of "The Massacre of the Pendon Twelve", a conflict between the military and the locals, battle lines are indeed drawn as attempts to recreate the event begin to take place. Just as a couple of hundred years ago, there are two sides and the committee members are either more likely to fall naturally into the "oppressors" (Ray's wife Helen being one of them - with a wonderful performance by Deborah Grant - along with the perpetually tipsy Laurence (Robert Duncan) whilst on the side of the oppressed stands local school teacher Eric (Craig Gazey), a self-confessed Marxist with deeply held views and his other half Sophie (Gemma Oaten) and no way is he going to let events repeat themselves. "It's a pageant, not a rally!" protests Helen, clearly seeing what Eric is up to. On both sides at the same time and charged with making the costumes is the quietly-spoken Philippa (Rhiannon Handy). And it's always useful to have a local councillor on-board, right? Not when it's Donald (Mark Curry) who, despite his apparently best efforts, fails miserably to get anything passed at council meetings. He does provide a minute secretary though in the form of his mother Audrey (Elizabeth Power) who sits quietly in the corner, barely able to hear anything that's said let alone write it down, though she is pretty nimble when it comes to having a drink when the meeting closes.
Things step up a notch when areal military man Tim (Harry Gostelow) gets involved, a man who not only has experience but the arms to go with it... Now all they need is a horse to allow the charge to take place - and they do get one, in a hilarious sort of way.
Written to a very tight deadline at Christmas 1976 just in time for its first performance on 19th January and at time when political strife was rife and inflation was 17% - yes, kids, 17%!!, the play was initially a success but then seemed to fall out of favour for a number of years (there are, after all, more than 80 other plays to choose from) but has since had something of a revival and this production from the aptly-named Classic Comedy Theatre Company certainly does it justice with its big-name and talented cast all giving superb performances and giving the characters a real touch of reality. Given that the play is based on Ayckbourn's own frustrating experiences of committees when trying to find a new home for Scarborough's Libraries Theatre, it's not surprising at all that the play hits home with deadly accuracy and gives an accurate demonstration of how normal rules don't necessarily apply and small men can suddenly become very big men (and vice versa).
Let battle commence!