REVIEW: Last Tango and Lockdown in Louth bring hilarity to Riverhead Theatre!

On a cold and wet night outside in Louth, there was warmth and laughter – a lot of laughter – inside Louth’s Riverhead Theatre with two one-act plays by Crown Juals Productions that were relatable and hilarious in equal measure.

The cast of Last Tango in Louth and Lockdown in Louth, from left: Magnus Moorhouse, Julia Burnett, Andy Vallely and Cheryl Vallely.
The cast of Last Tango in Louth and Lockdown in Louth, from left: Magnus Moorhouse, Julia Burnett, Andy Vallely and Cheryl Vallely.

Last Tango in Louth, a wonderful adaptation of David Tristram’s play, saw the ailing Louth Amateur Dramatics Society struggling both financially and collectively after their disastrous last play saw audiences stay away in droves.

Led by self-important, exasperated director Gordon (the charismatic and hilarious Magnus Moorhouse), pompous leading lady Margaret (played with diva-esque aplomb by director Julia Burnett), much maligned set designer Bernard (a brilliantly dry Andy Vallely) and dappy but enthusiastic Joyce (the delightful Cheryl Vallely) decide if their company is done for, they might as well go out with a bang and decide to perform the sexually-charged play Last Tango in Louth.

Cue some side-splittingly funny meat-related gags as unwilling Bernard sees himself cast as a somewhat familiar butcher with Margaret doing her best with a corny script, and the hilariously-innocent Joyce deliver double entendres with brilliant comic timing.

Then comes the second play – Lockdown in Louth – which sees the group still recovering from the success of ‘Tango’ when the covid-19 lockdown hits, and sees the cast coming to terms with social distancing, mask-wearing and the perils of online quizzes – and hoarding of toilet paper.

As a thank you to the NHS, they decide to perform a romance set in a hospital entitled Phantom of the Opera-ting Theatre with Margaret as the heroine (of course) and Gordon playing the dashing plastic surgeon, and their attempts to put the show together while maintaining social distancing is so funny and very relatable after the previous two years we’ve all lived through.

The entire audience – including this reviewer – were howling with laughter from start to finish and the cast had such brilliant chemistry, and you could tell they were enjoying themselves.

Without giving anything away, Bernard got the biggest laugh of the night with his big ‘reveal’ at the end of the play – and I take my hat off to him for his sheer cheek!

Last Tango and Lockdown, all in all, were simply hilarious and I have nothing but praise for the talented and enthusiastic cast – bravo!

Tonight (Thursday) sees the final show performed, starting at 7.30pm, and if you haven’t got your ticket yet, I can't recommend this show highly enough.

Tickets are £11.50 or £10 for Theatrecard holders, and are available by calling 01507 600350 or www.louthriverheadtheatre.com