Three Men in a Boat

Nuffield Theatre, Southampton

THE Original Theatre's production of Three Men in a Boat perfectly captured the spirit of that wonderful book we have all loved for so many years.

The humour and pathos of the human situation is timeless, and this story of an Edwardian boating holiday with its finely drawn characters never ages or loses its magic.

This fresh and original adaption, set in the Elusive Pelican pub with a music hall theme complete with pianist Nelly (Anna Westlake) was a real tribute to artistic director Alistair Whatley and director Craig Gilbert. Tribute should also be paid to Victoria Spearing for her well-designed period set.

J (Alistair Whatley), Harris (Tom Hackney) and George (Paul Westwood) interacted brilliantly to give an energetic and convincing portrayal of three young chaps who were hopping on and off a boat in various stages of inebriation.

Music from the period, together with Nelly's piano playing, successfully brought together the river scenes and the pub's bar.

To say nothing of the dog.

Diana Holman