LINDISFARNE Players’ production of the classic comedy, the Miser is faced with a bit of competition this week from Wimbledon and the World Cup.

But basically they do not stand a chance. How many laughs do you get out of Wimbledon – and now that England have been booted out of Brazil, don’t even mention the football.

The Miser, by French playwright Moliere, is a rich comedy about human nature in all its guises.

At its heart is one of the most splendid comic figures in the history of theatre, the hilariously appalling miser Harpagon.

Harpagon, wonderfully played by Chris Linnatt-Scott, is hellbent on screwing money out of people and on not spending a penny of it.

At the start of the play he is about to marry his daughter off to a rich, elderly gent, Anseline, in the fervent hope that the old boy will promptly drop dead, further adding to the Miser’s wealth.

Harpagon himself aims to marry a beautiful heiress, who happens to be his own son’s beloved.

Self-willed children, a loudmouth cook, and a matchmaker who looks like a giant piece of pink confectionery, will all play their part in his downfall, sealed by the theft of his beloved moneybox from under his nose.

The Lindisfarne Players, under the direction of Steve McCartney and Valery Miller, do a splendid job in making this 17th century masterwork as relevant and funny as any modern sitcom.

Among the supporting performers, Robert Stow stands out as the volatile cook, and Thomas Mann romps through the role of Harpagon’s foppish son.

There are delicious turns by Kim Tobin as a gobby maid, and by Jana Novotny-Hunter, as the matchmaker Frasine.

Rory Joscelyne and Megan Terry, as the young lovers, add a counterpoint of romance and passion to the uproarious comedy.

The Miser Palace Theatre, Dixon Studio, London Road, Westcliff.

7.45pm. Saturday matinee 2.30pm. Until Saturday 01702 351135