BEDROOM FARCE Conrad Hotel For maximum enjoyment of Alan Ayckbourn's limp comedy it is wise to lower one's expectations: if you do not expect too much of the play or the acting you will not be disappointed. Derek Nimmo's band of travelling players score a rare dud with this latest dinner-theatre production. Something called Bedroom Farce might be expected to come armed with a blizzard of slammed, opened and re-slammed doors, plus endless leaping in and out of the wrong beds as genteel confusion spilled into embarrassing, compromising positions involving neighbours, offspring and ex-girlfriends. Lame though it may be, Ayckbourn's script contains all those elements, but even such cheesy humour requires spectacularly silly playing to carry it off. The British Carry On films should provide the blueprint for productions like this: if you are going to ham it up, ham it up so wildly that the audience can- not help but be swept away by the daftness of it all. The cast here, on the road for two months, were perhaps too jaded to inject anything more than the odd spark into their opening-night, semi-naked chasings around the bed. From a slow start the play decelerated, with the action - moving from one to another of the three- bedroom interiors on stage - switching too slowly to maintain what little dramatic tension there was. Fundamentally, four couples into three bedrooms would not go, and therein lay the laughs. Perhaps the 'flatness' led some of the cast to believe they could compensate by shouting rather than acting; then again, problems could arise with projection to the back of a long room with poor acoustics. Honorably excepted from such complaints was the star, big-screen and British sitcom veteran Tony Britton. The stentorian Britton, 74, aided and abetted by Moira Lister, rose above the rantings of some younger colleagues to glide through the production in second gear. Perhaps this piece of not-quite-absurd-enough theatre was best viewed through the bottom of a glass.