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The summer comedy theatre celebrated its 21st anniversary in fine style last Thursday evening, with more plays than ever before, showcasing all the talents of Largs Players.

The first half of the programme involved as many laughs as costume changes with a variety of quick side-splitting sketches, while the second half followed the more traditional fare with one feature length play.

Opening with a clever concept, ‘A Load of Bull’ starred Angie Kelly and Ruth Donaldson as Daisy and Frieda, playing two cows passing the time of day in a field, chatting about all the ups and downs of farmlife.

“I’d rather be sucked than squeezed!’ said Frieda to Daisy to screams of laughter from the floor, as the daily milking session got discussed in intimate detail!

Furthermore, who would have thought that such deep issues as global warming and existentialism would be discussed by two coos in a field?!

Moo-ving swiftly on, ‘the next sketch ‘Going All The Way’ by Tony Cottrell featured driver George Whitestone going on a peaceful drive only to be disrupted by his new sat-nav device which starts talking back to him, and not only that, she has an inferiority complex!

Upon hearing that the driver had purchased the sat-nav second hand from a friend in the pub, the sat-nav shrieks: ‘That means I am illegitimate!’ - and starts misbehaving!

A surreal sketch, it was well realised and driven, even if the car wasn’t! Isobel Kell played the maverick sat-nav, and rising star James Fox played the policeman James Fox, who looked like he had walked on to ‘Taggart’, when he stopped the car because the break lights weren’t working.

‘Anger Management’ by Rupert High was completely barking, a tale of two dogs, Rex and Fido, played by Jon Wilkin and James Fox. Poor Fido had to go to behaviour classes after his father left him as a young pup! Slightly sympathetic, Rex, told him ‘och, your bark is worse than your bite!’, but he had his own hilarious issues to contend with and even had to go to cat tolerance training. However, all stopped, when some ‘top totty’ walked on by- the poodle from down the road with the ribbon on top!

‘Driving Mr Diddy’ by Mandy Bannan was a hilarious take on Largs couple, Brian (George Whitestone) and Margaret (Angie Kelly), heading off to the line-dancing in Saltcoats, only for a bank robber (James Fox) to jump into the back of their car with £10,000!

To great delight to his accomplices waiting for him on the Haylie Brae, the robber regales them with his latest escapade that he has been ‘picked up by two coffin dodgers!’ Chaos ensues during a bumpy journey around Largs (make sure you avoid Brisbane Road, as it is full of pot-holes, Margaret ruefully pointed out).

It was quite a night for James Fox, from policeman to bank robber, all in the one evening, and to top it all off, after warming to Brian and Margaret, sings a hilarious ned version of Louis Armstrong’s classic ‘Whit a Wonderful Wurld’...

‘Chilled Wine’, by Dorothy Lambert, brought the first half to a delightful conclusion, as three ladies get around the table to talk about a male acquaintance, Angie Kelly channelled Patsy from ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ in her role as Charolotte, while dotty Louise (Ruth Donaldson) thought she was a know-it-all, until Gemma (Isobel Kell) provides a grande surprise in the finale - the atmosphere by the end was anything but chilled, but revenge is a dish best served cold as Louise and Charlotte were to discover.

The series of shorter plays were directed by Jan Green, and while it was a new format for the Largs Players, it gave the overall night an extra spark.

What was good about the second play was that it was entirely different, and a bittersweet comedy drama ‘September in the Rain’, by John Godber, adapted and directed by Jon Wilkin.

Featuring bickering Largs couple Liz (Pat Nicol) and Jack (Drew Cochrane) going to Blackpool every year for their holidays, the play went back in time by using a series of flashbacks.

While constantly arguing, like all the best comedies, it also showed that a more touching side to their relationship, as Jack and Liz couldn’t actually live without each other either.

Even preparing to go on holiday was a drama, as Liz wanted to leave the house spic-and-span, while Jack was leaving everything to the last minute, while conveniently making sure he was avoiding the more onerous tasks!

There was even some singing too, with Frank Sinatra’s ‘You make me feel so young’ setting the scene for the car adventure. Given both carried the dialogue for the full second half show, it was an excellent finale carried out with typical bravado by two of the longest serving members of Largs Players.

And as Liz and Jack danced out their twilight days in the emotional closing scene, it drew a parallel with the long running comedy theatre, which has lost a few of its older cast members in recent years to the great stage upstairs. It was a fitting conclusion to their 21st anniversary celebrations at the Brisbane Centre.