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Sex on Legg's one-line agenda

Billed as a riotous comedy, the first offering of the Falcon Players' 2000/01 season at Stamford Hall Theatre 'Wife Begins At Forty' certainly didn't disappoint.

Ray Cooney's comedy was delivered with gusto and relish by the six main characters who had the appreciative audience lapping up their every near-the-knuckle gag and double entendre.

The difficult and touchy subject of turning 40 was tackled with about as much sensitivity by the cast as a Dalek in a bad mood - and boy was it funny.

The story centred on the sex life, or rather the increasing rarity of it, of middle class couple George Harper (played by Terry Connelly) and his wife Linda (Melanie Carson).

Their problems were compared to the relationship of their friends and neighbours, the happily married - but on his side happily unfaithful - Roger (Peter E. Legg) and Betty Dixon (Sue Webster). This foursome was ably assisted by Barry Lockwood, Bernard Harper and Andrew Shephard, who, as Leonard Harper, found himself as the product of George and Linda's marriage.

The performance was finely crafted and told mainly through a number of conversations between a couple of the cast at a time.

The actors were able to play off each other very closely and this led to the expert delivery of a number of excellent, and often extremely rude, one-liners from Peter E. Legg.

The show came to a climax when George finally got to grips with his libido and, with the help of Linda, took matters into his own hands.

Overall 'Wife Begins at Forty' was very much a success and it achieved its aims of offering people a highly enjoyable romp and a good night out.

Steven Oliver
Loughborough Echo