CANBERRA Rep’s “Fox on the Fairway” is a light-hearted, fun and unchallenging piece of theatre.
Ken Ludwig’s American take on the English tradition of farce is tightly written, well structured and satisfying.
The classic elements of farce: multiple exits and entries, misunderstandings, pace and slapstick humour are all present. The plot is predictable, but enjoyably so.
Director Liz Bradley set Rep’s version in a Melbourne golf club, in the present. In this, she wisely avoided any temptation to use American accents.
There could have been more comedy gained from playing on the status difference between the older, richer characters and the younger servant class. As it was, all the accents sounded like Canberra’s middle class.
Seventeen-year-old Martin Hoggart was outstanding as the young golf prodigy, Justin. His pacing, dynamic, physical comedy and ease in his role were central to the show’s success. Also pivotal was Rachael Clapham’s winning and resourceful Pamela Peabody who brought to mind Connie Booth’s Polly from “Fawlty Towers”.
Pop culture references to Voldemort and Mordor aside, the show could easily have come from the early 20th century. It’s timelessness, energetic action and warm-hearted charm make it an ideal outing for the whole family.