Period comedy at YMCA

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A LIGHT-HEARTED comedy opens at the YMCA Theatre next week.

The Happiest Days of Your Life, by John Dighton, is set in a boarding school for boys in the 1940s.

Things come to a head when the school plays unwilling host to another school, and parents visit to find out how their offspring are faring.

“The stratagems to which the staff are reduced, to conceal from the parents the true state of affairs, lead to chaos and mayhem”, says Felicity Stephenson of the group.

Many of the actors will be familiar to regular supporters of Phoenix Drama, who will present the show next Wednesday to Saturday, at 7.30pm.

Ian Cocker and Margaret Robson play the put-upon headmaster and formidable principal of the schools.

They are supported by Roger Scutt, Harry Graham, Rae Yaldren and Charlotte Robinson as teachers.

Joe Maw, who has been in several YMCA productions, joins the group to play the naughtiest boy in the host school.

Robin Newman, Ann Naylor, John Hazelwood and Jan Brittain play bemused and bolshie parents.

The cast also includes Phoenix newcomers Kate Stephenson and Stuart Ackroyd.

First performed in 1948, the play is a period piece but still has the ability to make an audience laugh, Felicity says.

“It employs all sorts of comic devices, from dreadful puns to physical comedy, and there is something intrinsically funny in watching a group of staid and conservative characters driven to increasingly wild and uncharacteristic behaviour by circumstances beyond their control”.

Tickets cost £7.50 and £6.50.