REVIEW: The Empty Nesters Club, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Jane Hogarth and Josie Morley in The Empty Nesters Club
Jane Hogarth and Josie Morley in The Empty Nesters Club

This slight, though entertaining three hander is the latest stage in John Godber’s journey through middle class angst.

He pitches this tent on the theme of bereft parents coming to terms with the departure of grown-up children..

Vicky Barrett (Jane Hogarth) is central to the story, as mothers usually are. Her response to her daughter’s departure is to drink to excess, undertake charity bike rides and then set up the club of the title.

Phil Barrett (Robert Angell) undertakes similar compensatory activities. Robert Angell merely has to don a sweatband to elicit gales of audience laughter. He has a rare gift for comic timing and the dryness of his delivery turns good lines into hilarious ones.

I suspect that, like me, most of the audience have experience of the empty nest crisis. It would, therefore, have been illuminating to have had more of daughter Mollie (Josie Morley) and her feelings. However, we are given the merest glimpses as she deals with her well-meaning, though increasingly desperate parents.

This being a John Godber play, there are plenty of other themes to chew on. For example, is it appropriate that so many young people attend university? How is the supremacy of certain universities distorting higher education? What happens after university when they come home?

THe Empty Nesters Club is on at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on Wednesday March 15 at 7.30pm, Thursday March 16 at 1.30pm and 7pm, Friday March 17 at 7.30pm and Saturday March 18 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Tickets: 01723 370541 or online at www.sjt.uk.com