M3 F6 

Matrimonial mix-up in the funniest farce we have ever published. Featured in the ‘Play Produced’ feature in Amateur Stage. Hundreds of performances to date.

Image: Love Begins At Fifty
The Community Of Hungerford Theatre Company performing Love Begins At Fifty. Picture by Clive Dancey.

Anita and Clive Debanks have been married for 28 years and have led an uneventful life. But all that is about to change. Although in a loveless marriage, Clive has never been unfaithful. However, as preparations for his fiftieth birthday are underway, Clive feels that life is passing him by and has a yearning for one last fling. To this end, he chooses three prospective partners from the ‘lonely Hearts’ column in the local paper. By a strange twist of fate, the same paper is offering a Caribbean cruise, as the first prize, in a competition to find the perfect married couple. Anita enters the competition but keeps it a secret form Clive. A photographer arrives to take pictures of the happy couple the night Anita is away, and Clive is busy at home, entertaining one of his new dates. From that point onwards, things get a little complicated, to say the least. The action is fast and furious in this hilarious farce.

While I appreciate many of you can’t speak Dutch, please see below for a very good production of ‘Love Begins at 50’ performed by “t Madeleintje” in Bruges, Belgium (October 2018).

LOVE BEGINS AT FIFTY has been a great success. As well as a record – breaking season as a summer show at Torquay, it has been performed by amateur companies throughout the UK , Australia and Europe.

It has also had an extremely successful three month summer season run at The Lane Theatre, Newquay in 2005.
Many previous productions have been sold out every night.

A few of the many complimentary press opinions:

This is one of the most frenetically funny farces I have reviewed for some time, up to the standards of the best of Ray Cooney … side-splitting laughter…a fast and furious farce which provides hilarious opportunities.

– Amateur Stage

… a hilarious and unmissable treat… a beautifully crafted comedy that never goes off the boil for a second… roller coaster ride of events.

– Dorset Echo

Sideswipe at marital bliss simply a hoot… A belly-laughing full house could identify with Hopkins’ corking script… a stack of witty one-liners… A pure gem of comedy.

– Grantham Today

One word to describe this play ‘hilarious’! … I couldn’t stop laughing from start to finish and my sides were sore by the time I came home. Many different characters came in and out of the action… at the centre of this wonderful farce.

– Clitheroe AODS Review

Love begins at fifty is a fast and furious hilarious farce which is sure to keep the audience amused.

– Rhyl Prestatyn

Highly amusing and surprisingly touching comedy…the audience laughed till they cried.

– Daily Echo (Southbourne)

As for the play, it’s a modern farce, an up-lifting comedy with a magical mix of madness, guilt, deceit, eccentricity, decency, integrity, hope and love.

– West Sussex Gazette

It is easy to see how this hilarious, gem of a play ran for two months at the holiday resorts of Newquay and Torquay. Writers often work to a laugh-a-minute; this magical mix had the belly laughs every fifteen seconds. The situations were fresh, frenetic and interesting, the style more of confusion and misunderstanding, than doors opening and shutting… A superbly structured script, filled with one-liners and asides that this full house loved. A thoroughly good laugh- if you can get a ticket.

– Sterling Players. Perth (Australia)

…things get riotously complicated for the couple and for the others who are drawn into his deception. This fast-paced and hilarious farce is Mount Cotton Drama Group’s last play for 2011… Booking is highly recommended…

-Playhouse in Australia

Dear Friends, At this time we are doing 7 performances of Love begins @ 50 in Adegem, Belgium. I saw the play in April and it was love at first sight. So we decided to start rehearsing. We enjoyed every minute of every rehearsal. And the audience enjoyed every minute of our play. We have had three performances, we still have four to go: we keep on going for the nice humour and the fine plot.
Mr. Hopkins, keep on writing!

– Email from Etienne Notteboom (Belgium)

One gentleman, who laughed along with his wife for the entire show, was heard to say ‘ that was the best £5 I have spent in years’.
One lady said she had expected the odd punch line, but couldn’t stop laughing at all the innuendos! She thought the cast were brilliant, were well cast and performed the play so well, it was a shame we couldn’t take it on tour!!

– Audience reaction… The Community of Hugerford Theatre.



For a free reading copy, please click here

Published: 1998  ISBN:- 1852052295
Republished 2015  ISBN:- 978-0-9933857-0-4