Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover by Lawrence Russell after D.H. Lawrence. Greenwich Theatre, London & on tour. 5*****. William Russell

This has to be the funniest, filthiest, most fabulous show around. A send up of the celebrated novel by D. H. Lawrence it tells the story briskly, sticks amazingly to chunks of the book – at one point when Lady Constance is surprised at what is proposed Mellors tells her it is all in the book and produces it – and ends unhappily ever after, as does the book although the four strong and very talented cast have a surprise in store. It is subversive, witty and staged with the economy required of a touring show. Maybe you should not take your Aunt Edna, but if she goes she too will be rolling in the aisles.
Christina Baston is a splendid jolly hockey sticks Constance whose wedding night was postponed because Sir Clifford, a stunningly versatile Lawrence Russell, had to go to the War and when he came back he was no longer able to fulfil his duties. This disappointed Constance no end until she meets the gamekeeper Mellors, Wesley Griffin, a man born to take his shirt – and more – off. Meanhile Mrs Bolton, Sir Clifford’s nurse, played by Rebecca McClay as a Scotswoman devoted to the chores Constance does not get to do, lurks around creating trouble until she bonds with her mistress. Director Ben Simpson keeps the whole shebang – and boy is there a lot of banging going on – moving at top speed.
There is a narrator, Chris Jameson, to keep one up to speed should confusion arise, and it is not the only thing that rises.
The show started at the Edinburgh fringe, has toured round and still has dates to fill. Check out the website. The antics of Mellors and Connie are inspired and as for Sir Clifford’s replacement legs – he lost his own on the field of battle and got those of a lady dancer in a place of ill repute – they have to be seen to be believed, and they do get seen.

Constance Chatterley: Christina Baston.
Clifford Chatterley: Lawrence Russell.
Mellors: Wesley Griffin,
Mrs Bolton: Rebecca McClay.
Narrator: Christ Jamieson.

Director: Ben Simpson.
Music: Savage & Spiers.
Set Design: Phil Eddolts.
Lighting Design: Angharad Evans.
Sound Design: Helen Skiera.
Production Photography: Tom Christian.

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