AS well as giving the audience a lot of laughs, the cast of six plus

a hilarious unseen dog, are obviously enjoying their roles in Eric Chappell’s farce, Haywire at Altrincham Little Theatre.

As in many farces the characters come from a dysfunctional family, the heads of which, Alec and Maggie are both planning trips aboard.

Maggie’s is a legitimate holiday to three capitals plus tulip fields. Alec’s trip is an illicit trip to Spain with his book shop assistant, Liz (Lisa Barker).

A plethora of disruptive characters unwittingly delay his plans.

One is his care home avoiding mother, Phoebe, a forthright character who, we imagine, no care home would want.

Another is his son Jamie (Bob Miller) who has broken his ankle and finally his pregnant, unwed daughter, Mandy (Georgina Dalgleish) turns up to rock the boat.

The story ends happily even though it vies in a different direction.

There are superb performances by Chris Burton as the uncomfortable Alec and Christine Perry as his wife. Chris is the linchpin of the play. On stage most of the time, he delivers well some argumentative interactions with his pregnant daughter Mandy and his lazy son Jamie.

I especially like Janet Reidsma as the obstreperous Phoebe but all the cast are good and interact well.

Add to that, a well designed book shop set with superb sound and lighting and you have a winner.

Haywire is at Altrincham Little Theatre until Saturday, October 7. For tickets telephone 0161 928 1113 or email

Star rating: * * * *