ALTRINCHAM Garrick is presenting the Alan Ayckbourn classic, Absurd Person Singular.

Written in 1972, it follows three couples who organise parties on Christmas Eve, over a three-year period at one another’s houses.

The first party falls to the Hopcrofts who later rise up the social ranks but who, initially, feel inferior to their guests.

Jane Hopcroft rushes around frantically tidying up whilst her equally edgy husband looks on.

Tragedy, (and humour for us) befalls after she forgets the tonic water and has to go out in pouring rain, to buy some.

The following year it’s the turn of woman-loving architect Geoffrey and his wife Eva that brings the house down.

I never thought it possible to laugh at suicide but in her vain attempts to top herself Eva is pathetically funny.

The other guests, who are totally unaware of what she is doing, try to put things right after her unsuccessful attempts have wrecked the oven, the sink and the light.

The final festive celebration is at the home of banker, Ronald, and his wife Marion, now an alcoholic.

The Hopcrofts persuade them to dance in a hilarious game of forfeits.

Ros Greenwood’s performance as Jane stands out in the first scene, Kim Armston as Eva creates mournful expressions in the second scene whilst Laura Chandler’s, Marion, is funny in the last scene as she dances through an alcoholic mist.

The men are equally good with Graham Simmonds as Sidney attempting to repair the sink, as does Simon Garland’s posh Ronald who almost kills himself mending the light.

Mathew Foster’s Geoffrey is amusing whilst dancing with a tea cosy on his head in the final scene.

The sets of three different kitchens are almost unnoticeably changed.

*Absurd Person Singular is at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse until Saturday.

For tickets, telephone 0161 228 1677 or visit Star rating: * * * *