The usually competent and entertaining New Ross Drama Workshop at St. Michael’s Theatre, had a nightmare of an opening with Bernard Farrels’s eighties hit Canaries. Such hilarious comedy needed a fast pace, quick delivery to keep an audience in stitches at the lies and pretence that people get up to on sun holidays. Sadly, the funniest thing on the night was the prompter, who had to hiss out line after line before some performers could find their place in the mayhem. At times I could hear the prompts better than the dialogue.

A wonderful set by Anthony O’Connor and Terry Brennan was picture perfect. Costumes were good as were the props but time and again the audience were laughing at the prompting and it got to the stage where an embarrassed silence fell and I squirmed and shifted, knowing and dreading that I would have to write the review.

A large cast struggled to deliver a quality show and Marianne Furlong was splendid as Marie who stole the acting honours.

I loved Tom Kent as the grumbling Dub with scruples and sunburn and he had to work in the second act almost blinded by a bull costume amid broken glass.

Tom Doyle as Dad was a howl as the three-card-trick merchant who under-played with skill and style.

I was glad when the curtain slowly closed for a ragged curtain call and I dare say some members of the cast felt the same way.