Cream Tea and Incest

Strap yourself in for an hour of puns, props and plenty of plot. Cream Tea And Incest is a top-notch riff on the classic Edwardian farce, and a merciless poke at the old-time aristocracy and English gentleman.

Cream Tea And Incest is a gem of a play; you will be chortling from lights up to the last exeunt, I can guarantee.

With face-pulling a-plenty, the cast of four are fantastically adept in transforming themselves into the hallmarks of British comedy: bombastic Lord Wiggins is blown to life by Adam Unwin, whilst Rory O’Sullivan’s scheming brother Biggins rasps his way menacingly through to the very end. It is, however, the Jeeves and Wooster relationship between top toff Eddie Spangler (Benjamin Alborough) and his butler Jeffrey (Eoin McAndrew) that lights up the stage whenever they are partnered together.

You can comfortably know what to expect here, and feel very safe in the hands of this ensemble to bring laugh after laugh in every scene. Whether it’s the time-defying travel across the country or the occasional dollop of self-aware commentary, endearing comic clichés are renovated and re-energised with playful direction from the production team.

This is a fantastic example of just how much can be done with very little; using the humble cardboard and marker pen, all props are brought to life with a mechanical dynamism that allows cardboard guns to shoot cardboard bullets, seemingly two-dimensional briefcases opening to produce intricately detailed letters, incriminating documents and more.

Aside from the non-stop repartee and hysterical characterisation, other highlights included a celebratory dance that we can only assume is known by all Oxford University alumni, consisting of a blend of Morris dancing, bum-smacking and stately courtship ritual which earned its own spontaneous round of applause from the audience.

One of the only things holding this story back is a Marxism v Capitalism plotline which, in my opinion, felt a little heavy-handed and complicates what is otherwise a straightforward storyline. The changing political standings of these characters does not need as much referencing as it receives, however it is nice to have occasional reminders that the madcap events taking place were catalysed by something resembling a ‘real’ motive.

Cream Tea And Incest is a gem of a play; you will be chortling from lights up to the last exeunt, I can guarantee.

Reviews by Katie Rose

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Romance! Adventure! Murder! Jeffrey and Eddie must learn the meaning of these words and more in this brand new knockabout Edwardian farce. Delight in their capers, mix-ups and the dead bodies they leave in their wake. Follow Eddie Spangler, an inept, remorseless English gentleman and his loyal valet, Jeffrey, as their simple quest deteriorates into a race against time when the Machiavellian forces of the aristocracy move to wreak their vengeance. Featuring delightful romantic misunderstandings, blood diamond trafficking and the most realistic acting ever seen at the Edinburgh Fringe. An anarchic comedy play from Benjamin Alborough.