A Damsel in Distress is a load of nonsense – but what joyous nonsense.

For this new stage musical, writers Jeremy Sams and Robert Hudson have taken P G Wodehouse’s novel and given it a new life. They have retained many of the numbers written by the Gershwin Brothers for the 1937 film version.

Dust has been blown away and there is a fresh edge to a contrived plot of mistaken identities and unlikely romantic alliances. This freshness even stretches to theatrical in-jokes and an outrageously funny horticultural double entendre.

The show is full of goodies both comic and musical with superb talent being shown throughout. Rob Ashford’s direction and choreography never allows the production to flag and he certainly gets the best out of his cast.

Amongst the all the excellent principals there are two surprising performances. The lovely Isla Blair is turned into a monstrous harridan who has more feeling for her dogs than for people whilst the normal staid Nicholas Farrell lets his down and has a whale of a time as the eccentric Lord Marshmoreton.

There is great support from the rest of the cast who all contribute to an evening of fulsome, fun and frolics.

Five stars