Poignant comedy recalls 40 years of a marriage

September in the Rain Play by John Godber. Directed by David Kerry Heefner. ``September in the Rain,'' at the Hudson Guild Theatre, employs the familiar techniques of flashback and soliloquy to dramatize 40 years in the lives of a working-class Yorkshire couple.

With minute recall, Liz (Susan Greenhill) and Jack (Steve Ryan) look back over the decades of their marriage and particularly their annual September holidays at Blackpool, a popular resort on the Irish Sea.

British playwright John Godber has composed a succession of vignettes in which the couple relive the minutiae of their relationship, squabble and reconcile, and talk of their children. Meanwhile, they experience Blackpool, from fish and chips along the promenade to the thrills of an elevator ride to the top of the Tower and the delights of ``The Student Prince.''

Under David Kerry Heefner's direction, the marital retrospective is played with authentic feeling and creditable Yorkshire accents by Miss Greenhill as the loquacious and impressionable Liz and by Mr. Ryan as her stolid spouse, who has put in his working life as a miner.

Recordings from the '40s, including the song of the title, add a touch of nostalgia to this slight, overlong, sometimes poignant comedy. The uncredited scenic design, employing odd bits of furniture, leaves much to Phil Monat's lighting and the audience's imagination.

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