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Pray for clement weather and head over to Regent’s Park where 1850’s Oregon backwoodsman Adam Pontipee is in search of a wife who will cook, clean and generally take care of not only him but also his half dozen scruffy brothers whose table manners would insult a pig.

Of course, he doesn’t tell feisty Milly that they even exist when he heads into town from their mountain ranch and sweeps her off her feet.

This sprightly 1980’s musical (based on the 1954 film itself inspired by The Rape of The Sabine Women way back in 750 BC) makes sure that the men certainly don’t get it all their own way- and Milly soon has her newly spruced up, de-bearded lads sleeping decorously in the barn (suffering from strategically cushion-covered “cupid’s cramp”) when they decide they, too, want wives of their own and, encouraged by Adam,   kidnap a potential bride apiece on a swift foray into civilization.

Rachel Kavanaugh’s immensely enjoyable production sits perfectly in the tree-lined setting and, with the simplest of means, even manages to simulate the avalanche which cuts off the remote farm from the irate townsfolk all winter. Alistair David’s excellent, muscular chorography has the brothers toe-tapping as well as tumbling as they try to impress the girls and out-dance their local suitors (The Harvest Social is a particular highpoint) and Alex Gaumond’s Adam, with his unforgivably outmoded gender politics, rules the stage with a swaggering confidence – until Milly takes charge. And, in Laura Pitt-Pulford powerful, sympathetic performance, she’s a real force to be reckoned with – a no-nonsense girl determined to make the best of a challenging situation.

Open Air Theatre

Inner Circle, Regents Park, NW1 4NR

Tube:-Baker Street

£25.00- £52.50 + £65 premium seats

Until 29 August

openairtheatre.com


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