Review: How’s The World Treating You?

Written for The Stage

Written in 1966, Roger Milner’s screwball comedy How’s The World Treating You? makes an amiable comeback at the Union Theatre. It’s an odd play but none the worse for that.

How’s The World Treating You? is full of old fashioned wise-cracking and ribaldry. Milner’s hero Frank More, played with wide-eyed charm by Matthew Carter, is a bit of a twit but an awfully likeable one. Watching him career from one mini-disaster to another in Milner’s surreal world of trouserless majors and errant washing machines is an entertaining, if baffling, ride.

It’s horribly dated of course and totally lightweight. Women’s roles are cheerfully clear, though impressively any sexism is blatantly tongue in cheek. Laura Hanna particularly sparkles as More’s headstrong, no-nonsense wife.

Director Stephen Glover has understood that this period piece needs to be framed accordingly and starts each act (1940s, 1950s, and 1960s) with a film tailor-made for its corresponding year and location. He’s also told his jolly cast to play their fruity vowels and rolled eyes to the hilt and Ian Barritt, Gilian Cally, Louisa Faye and George Weightman relish each lip-smacking moment of their ensemble multi-casting.

Runs until 7th April 2012.