IT’S difficult to put your finger on why exactly Hay Fever is so good.

IT’S difficult to put your finger on why exactly Hay Fever is so good.

At the opening night of the fourth play in Windsor Repertory Season the Noel Coward classic bought laughs and much joy to the audience.

But no one could really undertsand why. That’s not to downplay the cast who were fantastic in their parts as the self-confessed abnormal Bliss family and their very normal guests.

Nova Skipp was downright hilarious as the overly-dramatic Judith Bliss and showed such a range of skill and understanding of her character that it was hard to think she was not real. And Evelyn Lockley and John Askew as siblings Sorel and Simon bought to life the brattish and eccentric family lifestyle displayed by the upper class Cookham-based unit.

Add to this the incredibly convincing way Sarah Dungworth and Russell Anthony bought the awkwardness and contrast to the house as guests Jackie Coryton and Richard Greathan and you have a superb example of the effect Coward always wanted to show of the hedonism of the twenties and thirties.

Coward wrote Hay Fever in 1922 based on his experiences during his visits to New York in his early 20s where he would be guest at the home of actress Luarette Taylor and her husband Hartley Manners. Written in three days it is about the Bliss family who each invite a guest to their home for the weekend without telling the others.

And this is where it’s hard to describe why the play is good. There is no real plot as such.

And it takes a while to relax into the uncomforting thought of “I’m not really seeing the point of this story”. But that’s the brilliance of Coward and the talent of the actors. There is no point and that’s the point. There is no plot because that is what Coward is trying to illustrate – a class who lived without plot. The Bliss family are, at the end of the day, just rude and self-absorbed.

Their hilarity is warming in a way of making you realise at least you are not like that. And that is why Hay Fever is such a great play to see. It’s a chance to sit and enjoy acting, comedy, a great script and some fantastic costumes just for the sheer hell of it. And sometimes that is what theatre should be about.

Just one thing hangs over from the night....why is it called Hay Fever? Murmurings from the audience after the three-act play have had me guessing and researching for days.

And I still don’t know why. Perhaps that is another brilliance to Coward and his subtle, genius ways.