Mrs. Hoover is hanging up her floral pinny and finishing the custard crèmes; no longer will Brighton’s leading landlady terrorise guests with bathroom etiquette and rules for pouring tea.

Mrs. Hoover is retiring amidst a storm of wartime nostalgia and generally Keeping Calm and Carrying On. Yet the occupants of No. 179, Davigdor Road, appear to be modern language students born long after either Muffin the Mule or Vera Lynn with no certain knowledge of either.

Joyce Hoover, an uneasy combination of Dame Edna and Mrs. Doubtfire, stretches the joke – as well as the time frame - a little too far. There is something vaguely inhospitable about making fun of foreigners whose only crime is to stay in her boarding house whilst studying English – or who have bought tickets for the show and discovered to their cost that sitting in the front row means you are part of the entertainment.

A few hapless volunteers from overseas were ushered onto the stage to learn how to make tea, pour it and drink it. The dignity and sense of fun showed by the young Iranian was entirely to his credit and did no favours to the star of the show; the Japanese student must have known more about tea than Mrs. Hoover, but was polite enough to play the game and pretended to be called Edward.

Panto style, a song sheet with printed lyrics was produced for the packed audience to sing the chorus of several not particularly entertaining songs about houses on fire, or rules relating to hanky panky in the bedroom. There were some better jokes and some comic timing which led to regrets that a talented actor should have not found better material, a broader base and more fuel for his firepower.