Review: The Tart and the Vicar’s Wife @ Lichfield Garrick

Matt Healy

Matt Healy

I’ve got to admit I really didn’t think this was going to be my kind of play but actually, I really loved it. On paper its title makes it sound a touch unsubtle but actually this is one hell of a good old-fashioned night out beautifully played by a top-notch cast making it a real West End show right here in the heart of lovely Lichfield. It’s definitely one for the ladies and the cast here do them proud.

With a plot that mixes sex, religion and a tiny touch of the supernatural this play turns out to be about the very things that obsess us all. It’s cheeky, mildly filthy, irreverent and often very funny indeed. I won’t give away the storyline, suffice it to say it a group of recognisably respectable women (think Calendar Girls) decide to make a bit of money in shall we say a rather unusual way.

Marcus Hutton is tensely convincing as the vicar husband who’s renounced high finance for the clergy while Daniel Crowder as his silly ass colleague gets the humour just right.

Linda Armstrong as the discontented vicar’s wife looks quite sexy enough to move on out of there with ease but is sensitive enough to yearn to stay put, while Nicola Weeks as the American hitchhiker with a secret has just the right amount of fragile youth.

Sarah Jane Buckley as the posh friend reminds me of a number of elegantly hard-bitten ladies of my acquaintance while Danielle Johnson is simply eye-popping as the high class tart. But there’s always a star, and for me it’s got to be Suzie Chard as the farmer’s wife who hilariously finds a whole new side of herself that’s closer to nature than she’s ever been before.

There’s a great play lurking somewhere inside here about women and their potential, and it’s Matt Healy as the no-nonsense ordinary-bloke northerner who helps it to get out.

The production runs until October 10. The theatre was pretty busy for a Tuesday night, nearly full, so book fast to avoid disappointment. For tickets phone the box office on 01543 412121 or go online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Ross

    8th October, 2009 at 8:01 am

    I have, on legal advice, removed the comments from this post. Please note that while we accept a variety of comments from a variety of viewpoints, we cannot accept any which are likely to break UK libel laws.

    Again, this is not about ‘silencing free speech’ or any of that, it’s about ensuring those of us running this site for no reward are not dragged through the legal system.

    Thanks in advance for respecting this.

  2. Miss Juliet Davies

    11th October, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    after a wonderful lunch with live music at the Garrick, a friend and I settle down to ‘The Tart and the Vicar’s Wife’. In short – I haven’t laughed so much in ages! Wonderful performances. I don’t any watch soaps so I didn’t know who Matt Healey was but by God he was charming and pleasing on the eye! Suzie Chard as the farmer’s wife was the outstanding performance for me – absolutely brilliant. What a shame this isn’t on longer at the Garrick I’d happily watch it again and bring more friends. Wonderful!