Reviewed by Allison Thomas
All roads don’t lead to Rome – they lead to Pompeii!!
In this hilarious implausible comedy written by Miles Tredinnick, and directed by Robert Andrews, the main results are laughter, fun and entertainment.
The star of the show is the set – the stunning design and artwork by Robert Andrews and Damon Hill.
As Lucrio, Brendan Cooney tries to narrate the Prologue and keeps the story flowing with intimate comments to the audience, seemingly unheard by the rest of the cast. His ad-libbing on opening night leads to many laughs.
The laughs continue as we are introduced to Ammonia, ably and drolly played by Therese Dolman, as the wife of Ludicrus Sextus played by Nick Hargreaves who was a believeable Roman Senator. Their daughter Erotica, actress Anita Glocke, entertained us with her “slating” (an early Roman version of texting!).
And then “Woe woe and thrice woe” was the hilarious Damon Hill disguised as the female soothsayer Senna for many laughs and B&D gags.
Kacy Ratta as Volupta was convincingly seductive and Avril Kelly suitably vapid as Suspenda – and she had a laugh to match! James King was an impressionable floppy teenage Nausius.
The custom made Roman costumes by Jo Allenby provided a few laughs too- especially the slaves mini togas! And kudos to Beth Venning for the creation of pigs heads and other unusual props. However some of the sound and smoke effects seemed to be a bit random.
Sean Venning and Tim Cousins are convincing pirates and Jake Kempster Male’s debut sees him ambitiously and cunningly competing for the position of Head Slave.
For a raunchy funny entertaining show, it’s well worth a trip to see Up Pompeii with its eruptive startling ending!
Theresa Dolman as Ammonia in Up Pomeii