Review: Chesterfield Theatre Company stages Curtain Up

Ruth Higginbottom, Heather Beresford, Linda Robbins and Jenna Gordon - and the teddy is Rosalie  Hoskin in Chesterfield Theatre Company's produciton of Curtain Up at the Rose Theatre, Chesterfield
Ruth Higginbottom, Heather Beresford, Linda Robbins and Jenna Gordon - and the teddy is Rosalie Hoskin in Chesterfield Theatre Company's produciton of Curtain Up at the Rose Theatre, Chesterfield
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If you were left a legacy, what’s the last thing you’d expect it to be?

I’m guessing near the top of many people’s list would be – a theatre! In Curtain Up, the spring production from the renamed Chesterfield Theatre Company (formerly known as Chesterfield Playgoers), that’s exactly what happened.

Recently deceased Michael, for reasons he kept to himself, had left equal shares in the derelict theatre he himself had inherited to his girlfriend, his ex-wife, his daughter, his mother and his secretary – and they were as ill-assorted a bunch as you could wish to meet.

Theresa, his earnest, peace-loving daughter (played here by Jenna Foster) wanted to do right by her dad. Pam, his ex (Ruth Higginbottom in excellent acid-tongued mood) was distinctly grumpy about the whole thing.

Betty, his mum (a fine comic turn from Rosalie Hoskin) didn’t know quite what to make of it all.

Sharon, his secretary (a boisterous Heather Beresford) who dyed her hair green for the funeral as a mark of respect, just wanted to get stuck in and make some dosh out of it, and maybe find a job for her Steve.

And Jackie, glamorous and well-meaning (a great start for Linda Robbins, making her debut with the group) wanted to cherish his memory in her own way.

They wielded dusters and paintbrushes, ran aerobics classes and dressed as a giant teddy bear to raise funds – and then they had a stroke of luck... or did they?

Surely the toilet paper wouldn’t run out? And Steve would work out how to operate the lights? And the international celebrity wouldn’t be able to resist Betty’s giant shepherd’s pie?

It all took place at Chesterfield Studios’ new Rose Theatre, and a lot of fun was had by cast and audience alike.

LYNNE PATRICK