This is the funniest play I’ve seen for ages! Three old friends, a daughter and the guy that stood her up bring Exit Laughing to life and pull out all the stops on the way.
Jim Dickson’s cast of Sarah Cooke, Rachel Ann, the daughter; her mum Connie, Marie Dickson; her card-playing friends Leona, Jillian Rawlings (who is partial to a tipple or three) and ditsy Millie, Brenda Warren, and the guy that cancelled the date, David Fraser, all worked well as a unit. Great script, great timing, great fun!
The set made good use of the wide stage (which sometimes can be a burden) and there was plenty of room for all the shenanigans that ensued.
The plot in brief: 4 old friends played cards on a regular basis and when one of them dies Millie steals the urn containing her ashes and brings it to the game completing the foursome. Rachel Ann is angry at being “stood up” and Policeman Bobby (the stripper) turns out to be her cancelled date.
The well-delivered witty dialogue, full of innuendos, had the audience “rolling in the aisles”.
Roger McKenzie

Detour Theatre’s final show of the year is a feel-good comedy with plenty of laughs, and particular appeal to anyone who’s part of a group of old friends.Paul Elliott’s Exit Laughing focuses on a single night in the lives of three middle-aged women, who regularly meet for weekly bridge evenings.When their fourth player Mary dies, the group ends up ‘borrowing’ her ashes from the funeral home for one final, memorable night.Millie (Sue Sorrell) is the one who swipes the urn containing Mary’s remains, and brings it to Connie’s (Jane McKenna) house. There, along with Leona (Delwyn Weatherley), they ponder what to with Mary (once the shock subsides), before settling down for one last game of cards.Thrown into the mix is Connie’s daughter Rachel Ann (Bella Hernandez), an uptight young woman who’s been stood up by university classmate Bobby (Francis Collier), and is understandably despondent – until he turns up to the evening unexpectedly.Detour stalwart Jane provides the play’s grounded centre, providing a voice of reason when her daughter is cursing all men, or her friends are freaking out over one thing or another, all delivered in a pleasing naturalistic style. As Leona, Delwyn brings a thick Kiwi ‘aksent’ to the role of the mild alcoholic – that wine-loving friend everyone has.The standout performance is from Sue, who plays simple-minded Millie with perfect comic timing. Some of the night’s biggest laughs come from her innocent, but way off the mark, observations. It takes a lot to keep a straight face while playing such a character, but Sue does a great job of keeping up the illusion.Two newcomers to Detour Theatre, Bella and Francis, play their respective roles very convincingly; Bella with vivid facial expressions, and Francis with underlying sensitivity – although it would be a bit of a spoiler to go into too much detail.