I

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - ON STAGE - The Past (Le Passé) (12A) Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 1, 1pm, 8pm

as it’s a great the­atre and I’m able to go home after the show.

“The bill­board on the roof is highly vis­i­ble and when­ever I’m per­form­ing there, it’s a strange feel­ing see­ing my­self on the poster as I drive down the hill to­wards High Wy­combe.”

I ask Brian what au­di­ences can ex­pect of Bar­num?

“An en­ter­tain­ing evening with a great story, plenty of colour, com­edy, cir­cus stunts, catchy songs and spec­tac­u­lar cos­tumes. My open­ing cos­tume for ex­am­ple cost ten grand and it’s a night you won’t want to miss.”

Com­ment­ing on Con­ley’s ap­peal, the­atre di­rec­tor Si­mon Stall­wor­thy says: “Brian is one of the coun­try’s most tal­ented en­ter­tain­ers and a firm favourite with our the­atre-go­ers. We are de­lighted that Brian is per­form­ing in this hugely popular mu­si­cal.

“Bar­num is one of the high­lights of our 2014 pro­gramme and our au­di­ences are in for a treat.”

Bar­num runs from Oc­to­ber 7 to 11. Ticket prices range from £23 to £39.

Book on­line via wycombeswan.co.uk or call 01494 512 000. (Please note, a book­ing fee of £1.50 per ticket will be added to all trans­ac­tions un­less stated oth­er­wise.)

12A David Ten­nant, Rosamund Pike, Ben Miller, Amelia Bull­more, Billy Connolly, Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge, Har­riet Turn­bull, Celia Im­rie

2007, Andy Hamil­ton and Guy Jenkin aban­doned the con­ven­tions of a tightly scripted sit­com and took a more fluid ap­proach to min­ing laughs in the break­out hit Out­num­bered.

While the adult char­ac­ters’ lines were com­mit­ted to the page, the young ac­tors were al­lowed to im­pro­vise around sug­ges­tions from Hamil­ton and Jenkin, and con­se­quently de­liv­ered nat­u­ral per­for­mances, re­act­ing in­stinc­tively to set-ups and punch­lines.

The writer-direc­tors adopt the same win­ning recipe for this up­roar­i­ous fea­ture film de­but, an ill-fated fam­ily road trip laced with ab­sur­dity that touches the heart and tick­les the funny bone.

Once again, it’s the younger cast who scene-steal with aplomb, ex­plain­ing why a bout of car sick­ness is a source of joy (“It’s like be­ing a foun­tain!”) and suc­cinctly dis­till­ing the an­guish and be­trayal of parental in­fi­delity into a sin­gle throw­away line (“Dad had an af­fair with a Par­a­lympic ath­lete with one foot”).

That’s not to say that Hamil­ton and Jenkin short-change the rest of the en­sem­ble cast. They snaf­fle a gen­er­ous smat­ter­ing of belly laughs too, for ex­am­ple when the can­tan­ker­ous Gordie McLeod (Billy Connolly) tries to eIxsplyaoin­uHrit­tlehr’es seizure of land in terms his grand­chil­dren might

un­der­stSanedn:

N“Like Mo­nop­oly, but with more scream­ing.”

He is soon to cel­e­brate his 75th birth­day in the Scot­tish High­lands.

His self-ob­sessed son Gavin (Ben Miller) is host­ing a lav­ish party to im­press the neigh­bours and – he hopes – se­cure the cap­taincy of the lo­cal golf club.

Gavin’s long-suf­fer­ing and neu­rotic wife Mar­garet (Amelia Bull­more) re­mains in the back­ground, oc­ca­sion­ally ex­plod­ing with pent-up rage.

As the party beck­ons, Gavin’s less suc­cess­ful brother, Doug (David Ten­nant), and his wife, Abi (Rosamund Pike), ar­rive with their three chil­dren in tow: 11-year-old Lot­tie (Emilia Jones), who scrib­bles re­peat­edly in her note­book so she can re­mem­ber which lies she is sup­posed to tell, six-year-old Mickey (Bobby Smalldridge), who is ob­sessed with Vik­ings, and five-year-old Jess (Har­riet Turn­bull), wghroosue rso­hckos chris­tened Eric and Nor­man eto iurths­d­way­wcewle.bgreat­ti­bonus­cakres

b un­ex­pect­edly thrown into dis­ar­ray and a me­dia scrum de­scends on the fam­ily’s doorsteps. There is also an in­ter­fer­ing So­cial Ser­vices of­fi­cer called Agnes (Celia Im­rie), who casts doubt on Doug and Abi’s abil­ity to nur­ture their dys­func­tional brood.

What We Did On Our Hol­i­day is a rip-roar­ing riot, lay­ing bare the petty jeal­ousies and deep-rooted fears within a fam­ily while deal­ing with se­ri­ous is­sues through the un­blink­ered eyes of the chil­dren.

Ten­nant and Miller spark a fiery sib­ling ri­valry with ex­cel­lent support from Pike and Bull­more, the lat­ter prov­ing that it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

Hamil­ton and Jenkin es­chew cloy­ing sen­ti­men­tal­ity in the film’s

stori­wkin! g a pleas­ing and ul­ti­mately win­ning bal­ance es­tewne­dens

and amus­ing.

Ben Miller and David Ten­nant play two mis-matched brothers

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