Up Pompeii

Date 19th October 2012
Society The Phoenix Theatre Company
Venue The Civic Theatre, Rotherham
Type of Production Play
Director Julie Webb

Report

Author: Les Smith

Up Pompeii was made famous by Frankie Howerd on television between 1969 and 1970 who played the lecherous Lurcio the slave of Ludicrus Sextus.
The bawdiness of ancient Greece is well displayed in this play with a good smattering of double entendres and tongue in cheek humour.
In this production the part of Lurcio was played brilliantly by Mark Hague who made it his own, he did not try to copy Howerd’s performance and quite rightly so, he gave it his own twist and it worked, to say the laughs came by the minute would be wrong, they came by the second, the audience picking up on every line delivered. He was able to carry the part off professionally and gave it just what the part calls for involving the audience at every juncture possible.
Of course any actor on stage needs to have at least one foil to throw lines at and in this production there was no shortage, the master Ludicrus Sextus who himself was a lecherous old man was played to perfection by Colin Briggs, this was particularly evident in the scene where the tables have turned and he had to play the part of the servant to Lurcio’s master.
Another good performance was delivered by David Martin who played Corneous the footman, when he joined forces with Mark to give the comedic performance as two ladies it was hilarious and somewhat reminiscent of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot.
This production was pure entertainment and one which I am very pleased to have been invited to see, thank you Phoenix Players.