WHAT better setting could you have for a farce than a hospital?

Ray Cooney’s It Runs in the Family at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse with its twists and turns and exaggerated characters is set in such a place.

The leading physician, Dr David Mortimer, is regarded as a pillar of society. But is he? Suffice it to say he is one of the leading fib tellers,

Jonathan Black captures his situation well and is especially amusing when he prepares for an important lecture.

His sidekick is Dr Hubert Bonney, played with appropriate eccentricity by Mike Shaw. He comes to the rescue when Dr Mortimer’s former mistress, Jane Tate (Lise Banks) turns up to tell that someone from his past is waiting to see him.

To add to the deception, Dr Mortimer’s wife, Rosemary, a forthright Claire Mather, is there and has to be kept in ignorance of the truth.

Graham Simmonds’ does well as Bill, a patient who gets caught up in the tangled web of deceit.

The youngest cast member, Oliver Knowles, plays the son perpetually searching for someone.

I am impressed with the fast pace maintained throughout, a credit to director Alan Clements. As the action gets faster and faster and more complicated you realise the hours of practice that have gone into making it such a success.

Mix in some cross dressing and you have the perfect recipe.

*It Runs in the Family is at the Garrick Playhouse until September 30. For tickets, telephone 0161 928 1677 or book online.

Star rating: * * * *