Playing it for laughs

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THIS Friday the Apex Players return to Cumbernauld Theatre with Sex and Drugs and Rick and Noel.

This comedy is about Richard Branson – not the multimillionaire businessman, another one – whose life has just fallen apart. His marriage is over and he’s been laid off from the only job he’s ever had, working in a foundry. Deciding to start over he takes a university place as a mature student, reinventing himself as Rick, and meets Noel.

Director Allan McPhail said: “We’ve done a few of David Tristram’s other plays before, with my wife and I both doing some. They’re different from the farces we used to do in the past, this is a strongly character-based piece.

“We’d read it a few times and it always causes proper belly laughs, and also it doesn’t call for a big cast which is good for us as we don’t have as many members as we used to.”

Allan’s favourite scene involves the twins, who provide the love interest in the play. “There’s one scene between the two main characters and the twins, where Noel’s trying to establish which has come to see him. It’s very quickfire and very, very funny. It’s one scene that never gets tired.”

“Some people have been concerned about the title, but I’d like to reassure people there’s nothing nasty in this play. There’s a little bit of swearing but nothing worse than that, we’re advertising this for over 15s.”

The play stars Robert Grice as Rick, Tam Sutherland as Noel, Sam Ferguson as twins Helen and Rachel, Brenda Whiteas lecturer Maxine and Iain Malone as Rajit the Indian waiter. The performance at Cumbernauld Theatre is this Friday, starting 7.45 pm. Book tickets, £8/£6, on 01236 732887.