25-30 May 2015
Reviewed by Emma Booth
Me and my mum went to the Groundlings Theatre in Portsmouth to see 1950’s rock musical The Darling Buds of May, based on the book by H. E bates, set in the 1950s in the Kent countryside. I’ve seen the series on TV but hadn’t read the book so I had a basic idea of what to expect. I was hoping they would keep to the well-loved characters that I had religiously watched and loved on the TV with the idyllic life of the country with all the animals and beautiful scenery and just as I’d hoped it was just like this.
Starring Steve Arnold from Coronation Street as Mr Larkin and Heather Uden as Mrs Larkin they stay true to form as the larger-than-life full of laughs family. The story is about their eldest daughter who falls in love with the tax man who comes knocking on the Larkins family door after Mr Larkin fails to do his tax return. There are many hilarious moments after a few too many drinks are handed out and the tax man, Mr Charlton, soon starts to fall in love with Mariette. Soon Mariette has to fight to keep her man as someone else has her eyes on him, cue hilarious catfight. There is a great party scene which went extremely well considering the amount of actors there were on stage.
There were plenty of lively upbeat songs that were thoroughly enjoyable and very well acted and danced. This is a great feel good show that was a joy to watch, thoroughly entertaining.
The theatre is lovely. Groundlings is a very unique Georgian building dating back to 1784 and was visited by Queen Victoria. It has its own free carpark but this does get full so you need to get there about half an hour before the show starts. There is also a bar selling a refreshments and ice cream. I can’t wait to come back again soon we had a great night
Tickets cost from £10 to £14 (booking fees may apply).
The Darling Buds of May is at the Groundlings Theatre in Portsmouth until 30 May 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 02392 737 370.
Groundlings Theatre, 42 Kent Road, Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3BS