Richard Eyre’s A Flea In Her Ear

Love it or loathe it, farce has to be super-slick and seamless to work.

Disappointingly, Richard Eyre’s revival of Feydeau’s frenetic 1907 comedy of jealous misunderstandings rarely made me smile. Maybe the genre has had its day. 

Though precisely plotted, the antics of suddenly impotent Parisian insurance broker Chandebise (lured to the disreputable Hotel Coq d’Or by his wife’s attempt to uncover his imagined infidelity) aren’t particularly funny, even when he’s mistaken for the drunken porter and repeatedly booted up the backside. 

Tom Hollander executes rapid costume changes to plays both parts with brio, Freddie Fox impresses as a nephew with a speech defect, and John Marquez’s foot-stamping Spaniard finally won me over in a stolid production that hasn’t yet maximised the slapstick potential of slamming doors and a revolving bed.


Old Vic, The Cut
Waterloo tube
(0844 871 7628)
Till March 5  
£10 – £48.50

– Louise Kingsley