Bernice Clulow is a ray of light in the classroom; a bringer of joy. When she leaves for home, however, that happiness radiating smile becomes a rictus, for when she reaches her house, Bernice’s disabled mother will want an update on all that is happening in the world, while Bernice just wants to relax.

The weight of this burden forced Bernice’s sister Cath to leave the country as soon as she could, and with it a blossoming career in musical theatre. She now sings for hen parties in Puerto Banus.

This new play by Carmel Morgan, who has written for television series including Shameless and Coronation Street,  features music by Alison Moyet, who plays Cath. Bernice is played by comedy goddess Dawn French, who is best known for her work on television series including French And Saunders and The Vicar Of Dibley, and whose most recent stage credits include 2003’s My Brilliant Divorce.

Another legendary comedy figure, Kathy Burke, directs the production. Burke’s television credits include Gimme Gimme Gimme and Harry Enfield And Chums, though in recent years she has focused more in directing in the theatre. Her London work includes The Quare Fellow (Tricycle) and The God Of Hell (Donmar Warehouse).

For more information about Smaller, click here to read our First Night Feature.

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