Maurice's Jubilee

Nichola McAuliffe
Pleasance Courtyard

If you are an ardent royalist ideally beyond retirement age, do not waste a second before booking tickets to see Maurice's Jubilee. Should you not meet the criteria above, there will be better bets to fill this popular time slot.

The opening scene resembles a rather dark sitcom as Katie, played by the playwright, arrives to nurse Julian Glover’s terminally ill Maurice.

The 89-year-old former jeweller is now down on his luck following some unwise investing but still feels well able to patronise Sheila Reid as his dotty wife Helena.

Quickly, we learn that the old man has been kept going by the belief that the Queen (Elizabeth II for the avoidance of doubt) will turn up for tea at their house in Penge on his 90th birthday.

The reason is explained in a very long monologue convincingly delivered by Glover. In short, his character had spent a night with HM on the eve of her coronation 60 years before.

The purpose of this play becomes apparent when Miss McAuliffe gets to play a long scene delivering a vocally flawless imitation of QEII.

Maurice's Jubilee is intermittently amusing and deeply sentimental, if you can get over a series of plot twists that require a significant suspension of disbelief.

The good news is that all three performers deliver.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher

Are you sure?