by Ben Travers

2–21 September 2008
Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Hidden Pearl’s critically acclaimed production of Ben Travers’ classic farce

Sir Hector Benbow may have an eye for the ladies but he makes a mistake when he sells the manor of Thark to the formidable Mrs Frush. She thinks it’s haunted and Sir Hector’s accident-prone nephew, Ronnie, vows to stay the night there to prove she is wrong.

The follow up to Travers’ smash hit Rookery Nook, Thark contains many of the classic elements of British Farce in one play.

Ghosts, girls and the mistakes of the night abound in Hidden Pearl’s goosebump gagathon.

Thark production stillThark production still

Production stills copyright © Ken Bentley


‘With a nice mix of pleasurably predictable gags and surreal comic flourishes that prompt fits of giggles from an audience caught unawares, Crispin Harris’s production involves a young cast who nail their characters’ vocal and facial tics from the off. The slapstick stunts are sharp, attention is wittily diverted from a set change by the cast dancing a cross between the Charleston and the Monster Mash and (a real rarity, this) the doors of the budget set actually stand up to the repetitive slamming. Paul Lincoln is particularly good as the highly strung nephew. I’ve certainly never seen a farce produced with this unusual combination of youthful charm and attention to detail.’

Bella Todd
Time Out

  • Sir Hector Benbow
  • Jonathan Sanger
  • Lady Benbow
  • Desiree Nocher
  • Kitty Stratton
  • Natalie Eve
  • Ronald Gamble
  • Paul Lincoln
  • Hook
  • Charlie Woodcock
  • Warner/Jones
  • Trisha Champaneri
  • Cherry Buck
  • Natalie Lucas
  • Mrs Frush
  • Hannah Harford
  • Lionel Frush
  • Greg Cheverall
  • Whittle
  • Charles Pickersgill
  • Directed by
  • Crispin Harris
  • Assistant Director
  • Ken Bentley
  • Lighting Designer
  • Will Evans
  • Production Manager
  • Debbie Waters
  • Technical Operator
  • Phoebe Tait
  • Construction
  • Richard Latham