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28th Jun, 2022

REVIEW - Only Fools and Horses stars' Ladies of Letters at Malvern Theatres is a 'write good show'

Ryan Smith 26th May, 2022

ONLY Fools and Horses stars Tessa Peake-Jones and Gwyneth Strong in ‘Ladies of Letters’ are guaranteed to give audiences at Malvern Theatres a cushty evening’s entertainment.

Peake-Jones plays Irene, who we learn met Strong’s Vera under a table at a wedding after they’d both had too much to drink.

The pair form a unique friendship over the next few years, routinely writing letters to each other, discussing anything and everything – including updates on their love lives and the trials and tribulations of dealing with their grown up children.

The two actresses only directly speak to each other once during the performance, and it’s a testament to them they manage to keep the audience gripped with their charisma, stage presence and trademark comedic timing.

As Only Fools fans will remember, their considerable acting abilities stretch far beyond just delivering funny one-liners, with Peake-Jones masterfully displaying tints of vulnerability behind her character’s tough exterior when she has to face spending Christmas on her own.

Strong really shows off her range here, effortlessly switching from innocent and caring to venomously scathing.

The pair’s interactions lead to them getting into increasingly bonkers situations, with a wonderfully nutty series of events kicking off with Irene telling Vera about her plans to attend a protest.

Both characters are big time gossipers and more than a bit sarcastic, making some hilarious digs at one another that had the audience roaring with laughter.

But these heated exchanges make the more compassionate parts of the play all the more heart-warming.

‘Ladies of Letters’ is certainly an experience to write home about and you can catch it at Malvern Theatres from Thursday until Saturday, May 26 to 28. Shows start at 7.30pm with an extra performance on Saturday at 2:30pm.

Tickets start from £22. Click here to book.

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