Philip King’s classic farce, written in 1943, remains just as hilarious in Southwick Players’ fine revival – all due to Richard Lindfield’s slick and well paced direction and its brilliant cast.

The wartime setting is enhanced by the clever idea of the play being performed during that period. The bunting festooned hall with a live pianist (complete with the National Anthem) and the front of curtain speeches from the then Chairman and Treasurer of the Players transport the audience back in time -as does the Pathe Newsreel and Government information films.

The plot is too convoluted to encapsulate here and would spoil the surprises. Suffice it to say that it contains a plethora of vicars with or without trousers, a Bishop and yes - an actress. Misunderstandings and mistaken identities abound.

There are too many excellent performances to acknowledge all individually. There is a delightful rapport between Kerry Williams as the actress turned vicar’s wife and her former stage partner, Clive, deliciously played with hyperactive campiness by Tobias Clay.

Liz Gibson as the village harridan is on the button and deftly controls her drunken scenes – so easy to go over the top.

The whole cast bring sunshine into this miserable winter.

Four Stars