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Hatched ‘N’ Dispatched

Published 3 September 2015

What’s it all about?

A recipe for disaster involving booze, secrets, affairs, violence, pregnancies, spilled pickles… oh and somewhere among all the chaos a family member has died. But that doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of many – if any – of the characters’ minds, despite it being the day of his funeral.

Who’s in it?

Former Coronation Street star Wendi Peters leads the cast as domineering matriarch Dorothy, a woman you definitely wouldn’t want to cross. Undoubtedly the one wearing the trousers – not to mention her sister’s scarlet, not-exactly-funeral-appropriate dress – in her relationship with Kevin McGowan’s deceitful Edward, Peters’ portrayal of the constantly disgruntled sister and mother is an over the top affair that is both hilarious and, occasionally, heart-breaking.

Diana Vickers is an amusingly obtuse but heart-warmingly devoted Susan, who’s always at the side of her widowed mother Irene: a picture of fragility in the hands of Wendy Morgan.

In a cast in which every performer shines, Matthew Fraser Holland is laugh-out-loud hilarious as the browbeaten pickle-spilling other half of Vicky Binns’ sexually naïve Madeleine, James Wrighton is a frighteningly volatile Kenneth and Danielle Flett is both feisty and fragile as his tortured spouse.

What should I look out for?

A cup and balls-style game that sees several glasses of Sherry and one glass of a wholly less appetising fluid passed around the room. Keep your eyes peeled to work out which family member ends up with the dreaded substance!

A tea towel that will make you squirm following its involvement in the opening raunchy sex scene.

In a nutshell?

Another poignant and witty family drama, another stellar cast; following last month’s The Gathered Leaves, Hatched ‘N’ Dispatched brings one more delightfully dysfunctional household to the Park Theatre.

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Will I like it?

There is a lot to like about Gemma Page and Michael Kirk’s new play. With authentic vintage costumes, a simple set that perfectly conjures the Walker family’s dingy front room and a smattering of tunes from Elvis and Cliff, Hatched ‘N’ Dispatched takes audiences back to the 1950s where the trials and tribulations of one family are played out with impeccable clarity. You may, however, think twice about choosing a Sherry-hued tipple in the interval.


Hatched ‘N’ Dispatched is playing at the Park Theatre until 26 September. You can book tickets through the venue’s website.

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