Season’s Greetings: Review

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Fancy being transported to your own living room at Christmas time? Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings at the New Vic Theatre will take you there and even further.

Premiering at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in 1980, Season’s Greetings at the New Vic has proven itself to be a timeless classic.

A tale as old as time, the family, the extended family and those extra special guests who appear around the holiday period. Tensions run as hard and fast as the wine and everyone can relate in one way or another.

Season's Greetings © Tony Bartholomew,  from left, Eileen Battye and Andy Cryer
© Tony Bartholomew, from left: Mercy Ojelade, Frances Marshall and Michael Lyle

Frances Marshall’s character Belinda and her husband Neville, played by Matt Addis allow us into their home for Christmas. We see Belinda decorating the tree with red tinsel while she is trying to organise the perfect holiday.

We are taken through four days in the family home with various family members and friends coming and going.

We meet Neville’s best friend Eddie and his wife Patty played by Mercy Ojelade and Michael Lyle who have a tense relationship for many reasons and it seems to bubble to the surface just in time for Christmas.

Each and every character in Season’s Greetings were hilarious in their own unique way. Bill Champion’s character uncle Harvey was brilliant, with a dark, kick-ass sense of humour and a soured outlook on the world around him.

I particularly enjoyed Leigh Symond’s performance as Bernard, the nervous uncle tiptoeing around his drunken wife Phyllis, played by Eileen Battye, while she tries her very best to make the Christmas meal.

Season's Greetings © Tony Bartholomew,  from left, Eileen Battye and Andy Cryer
© Tony Bartholomew, from left, Eileen Battye and Andy Cryer

The Writer, Andy Cryer’s character Clive gave Christmas at Neville and Belinda’s the level of stress that can be seen at most family holiday celebrations.

Season’s Greetings was a side-splitting comedy, with some darkness added in which made it all the more gripping. Get down to the New Vic before it’s too late to catch this fantastic performance!

Season’s Greetings is at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme from Tuesday 8th October 2019 to Saturday 26th October 2019. For more details call 01782 717962 or visit newvictheatre.org.uk.

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