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Slow start but pace gets racier; REVIEW LADIES DAY Highbury Players Highbury Theatre Centre, Sutton Coldfield.

Byline: PAUL MARSTON

FOUR women in white packing fish at a Hull plant while engaging in small talk, isn't the most exciting opening to hook the audience in this Amanda Whittington comedy.

So it means a rather sluggish start, but the pace quickens when they decide to put on their posh hats and head for Ladies Day at York Races where a roll-up gamble with the bookies leads to a photo finish.

While the horses are running, Pearl (Gwen Evans), Jan (Sheila Knapman), Shelley (Celia Taylor) and Linda (Hannah Sweetman) let the champagne loosen their tongues and a few surprising home truths come to light.

Evans gives a convincing performance as one of the older punters, shocking her pals with news of a seven year affair with a married man who is one of the course bookmakers, and Nigel Higgs copes splendidly with four very different roles.

Oliver Leonard completes the cast as a nervous jockey.

Ladies Day, directed by Sandra Haynes, is running until tomorrow night.

VERDICT: *****
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 24, 2008
Words:168
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