Theatre Group’s latest offering You Can’t Take It With You is a Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy play by George S. Kauffman and Moss Hart. Over the duration of a couple of hours we are taken on a heart-warming, hilarious journey through a few days in the life of the Sycamores, a 1930s American family who are unique to say the least.
Fireworks, snakes and overenthusiastic Russian dance teachers are par for the course in this family. That having been said, when Alice, the family’s only normal member, brings home the well-to-do Mr Kirby, chaos is the only possible outcome. Alisa Stewart and Joe Hart, the play’s two romantic leads, both give a sterling performance with a believable and genuine chemistry.
I had not doubted that the light-hearted comedy would be enjoyable to watch, but am ashamed to say that I had completely underestimated just how pleasurable it actually was. Whilst each cast member brings humour to the stage in their own way, the show is undoubtedly stolen by Amy Fitzgibbon and Sera Berksoy. Although playing the smaller roles of the drunken Gay and put-upon African-American maid Rheba, these two actresses deliver their lines with brilliancy, showing a complete understanding of their characters and their audience.
A great deal of thought had clearly gone in to the play’s set which marks potentially my favourite use of The Annex to date. The cast’s use of space included the stairs and main doors as well as the stage, placing the audience in the midst of the action and allowing for them to feel a greater environment than they might otherwise have done.
As the Freshers’ play, the cast of You Can’t Take It With You are all performing for Theatre Group for the first time. This performance suggests that none of the actors in this production have seen their last Southampton stage. You Can’t Take It With You is a fantastic show with heart, humour and a happy ending, one which all of the cast and crew should be immensely proud of.
‘You Can’t Take It With You’ is on at the Annexe Theatre until 3rd December. For more info visit Facebook.