Conceived and written in exactly three days in 1922, Noel Coward's comedy of bad manners has certainly had a good innings.

Over the years it has been a favourite of many a repertory company and has enjoyed countless West End outings, including this latest production, which emanated from veteran director Peter Hall.

The play is set in the country home of Judith Bliss, a renowned actress, and her equally successful husband, David.

Their lifestyle borders on the bohemian and is reflected by their offspring, Sorel and Simon, whose neglected childhood has resulted in them both growing up precocious and spoilt.

The action takes place over a weekend when each of the family members has invited a guest down for the weekend without notifying the others. The chagrin caused by this thoughtlessness leads to each of them ignoring or insulting the other guests.

Further discomfort is caused when family members make romantic overtures to each of the guests. These bizarre couplings provide an excellent platform for some great comedy.

Despite its age and the passing of the era in which it is set, the play still works well. The production is a joyous one, full of high camp but so well controlled that performances never get out of hand. They may come close but they never go over the top.

Judith Bliss is a theatrical creation which offers actresses a dream role, enabling them to demonstrate their talent for comedy.

Stephanie Beacham obviously relishes the opportunity as she successfully deals with the character's love of melodrama, bitchy remarks and seduction.

There is excellent support from a strong cast, each one contributing to the fun of the evening.

Emily Pollet shines as an unsophisticated, slightly dim young thing, while Pamela Buchner brings a touch of down-to-earth reality as Clara, the general factotum.

The production provides a nostalgic and highly entertaining glimpse of a long-lost social world.