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Theatre review: Clever and thoroughly enjoyable show at Theatre Royal, Norwich

Theatre review: Quiz

Theatre Royal, Norwich

What a clever and thoroughly enjoyable show this is. It takes a long hard (but comic) look at the case of the Coughing Major - that rather posh chap, Charles Ingram, who won the top prize in the hit telly quiz show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, back in 2001.

The cast of Quiz. Picture: Johan Persson
The cast of Quiz. Picture: Johan Persson

The Major was denied the cash as it was decided he cheated as TV production staff heard some rather helpful coughing at critical points! The Major, his glamorous wife, Diana, and an accomplice,Tecwen Whittock, were all convicted of deception and never saw any of the prize money.

But this show puts us the audience in charge, setting the production inside a courtroom. The first half is basically the case for the prosecution while the second half is the defence, and we get to vote on their guilt or innocence, with the help of specially provided individual electronic devices.

Rory Bremner is superb as TV host Chris Tarrant, capturing his mannerisms to perfection, while Lewis Reeves and Charley Webb portray the Ingrams as a bit quirky but seemingly harmless, and TV favourite Mark Benton pops up as numerous characters including a star-struck judge.

There’s a terrific script, many questions are raised about seeking out the truth and how it can be manipulated, and it ultimately shows just what an obsession we have in this country with quizzing!

So, did we find them guilty? Actually, no!

Sarah Hardy

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