How to Build a Better Tulip is about the frictions revolving around two rival botanists, set in the horticultural department of a British university; Zoe Ann Bown as Audrey Braddock and Richard Lynson as Adrian Vanderpol. On first appearances, as part of their cover, Audrey ostensibly works with maize, and Adrian with petunias; however the rivals secretly battle it out to genetically create the worlds first black tulip. Matters aren’t helped when Audrey discovers that Adrian has taken up with her daughter, Perci, played by Zoë Simon. Furthermore both bear the meddling voices in their heads of their Dutch ancestors, who turn out to be the driving force that compelled them to turn to the tulip.
The rivals’ arguments coupled with the interferences by their ghostly ancestors form the backbone of the play. An enthusiastic lab assistant, Sheila, played by Molly Vevers, provides further contention, and an important discovery later on. Molly also plays one of the rivals’ ancestors, as does Martin Wimbush, who also plays a policeman. The ghosts, Cornelia Vanderpol and Carolus Hoofdorn, were they themselves rivals when alive, and appear from time-to-time in historic Dutch period costume.
Chaos ensues as disagreements escalate, and a talented cast manage to keep us entertained throughout and gave us a few laughs to boot.
The Tabard Theatre is just around the corner from Turnham Green tube station. Situated above a pub, the space is more than adequate and is as expected for a pub theatre. The seats are wonderful vintage, ornate velvet upholstered, wooden seats, obviously pulled from an old theatre, which makes for comfort.
Chaos ensues as disagreements escalate, and a talented cast manages to keep us entertained throughout and gave us a few laughs to boot.