Theatre by the Lake in Keswick kicked off its summer season on Saturday with Watch It, Sailor!

The comedy by Philip King and Falkland L Cary is set in the 1950s on what was destined to be a memorable day: the wedding of Shirley Hornett and sailor Albert Tufnell. And sure, it did turn out to be a memorable day – but for all the wrong reasons.

Without giving too much away, while Shirley and Albert seemed perfectly matched, there was a distinct lack of harmony between the groom and his mother-in-law-to-be.

What can we say about the terrifying mother-in-law, Emma Hornett (played by Heather Phoenix)? Middle-aged women don’t get more domineering than her. The control freak in her twin-set and slippers reduced everyone to a quivering wreck.

Henpecked husband Henry (Peter Rylands) was brilliant. He was constantly cowering and grimacing as his wife stomped around, jumping at any opportunity to go and check his ferrets.

Nutty neighbour Mrs Lack (Elizabeth Marsh) was your archetypal busybody, lapping up all the chaos, while Aunt Edie (Maggie Tagney) made Acorn Antiques’ Mrs Overall look positively normal as she raced back and forth sobbing, tripping, tumbling, curtsying and generally getting on everyone’s nerves.

Bridesmaid Daphne Pink (Laura Darrall) was a breath of fresh air in the claustrophobic front room. Shirley (Helen MacFarlane) spent much of the production weeping but did a great job of being a bride in the midst of a wedding day from hell.

It was an energetic production with a lot of shrieking and door slamming. I would have preferred more variety in the pace. There were too few moments of calm. Albert (Oliver Mott) was impressive and, in the midst of all the chaos and confusion, you could tell that all he really wanted to do was marry his true love. And boy must he have been in love to get involved with a mother like Mrs Hornett!

His best man, Carnoustie (Thomas Richardson), initially came across as a bit bonkers – and with a dodgy Scottish accent. But he was actually one of the few characters who seemed to develop.

It was a long play and I found the constant upset a bit tiring. But lots of people were loving it.