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Natalie Imbruglia's stage debut unearths a different star
Natalie Imbruglia made a solid stage debut in Alan Ayckbourn's Things We Do For Love, but it was co-star Claire Price who stole the show.
This charming play is set in flats converted from large homes in south-west London, not too dissimilar from those a stone's throw from Richmond Theatre.
A unique set shows the goings-on in Barbara's (Price) flat while we get a glimpse of what is going on above in Nikki (Imbruglia) and fiancé Hamish's (Edward Bennett) flat, as well as oddball Gilbert (Simon Gregor) below.
Ayckbourn's 90s classic feels exactly as you would expect – a similar sort of English quaintness as a Richard Curtis script.
Whether we can truly believe the prim and proper Barbara would really be so taken by the arrival of her best friend's fiancé so quickly I do not know, but the central plot makes for plenty of amusing scenes.
Price delivers a brilliant performance as the former St Gertrude's pupil, once nicknamed Spike, who is covertly gagging to have some fun after one terrible bedroom experience while at school.
Gilbert's awkwardness and approach to social situations only adds to Barbara's problems, while Hamish's Scottish bluntness (and vegetarianism) provides laugh-out-loud interaction between the four characters.
Imbruglia's contribution is understated and amusing but it is Price who will have you tittering throughout as Barbara's uncomfortable affair worsens.
Things We Do For Love at Richmond Theatre runs until Saturday.
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