Norwich mission to Mars...and Venus

No couple in their right mind would want to find themselves in a room where a man is dishing out relationship advice. But this weekend, you could be doing just at a stage adaptation of the John Gray bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.

First published in 1993, the book became a phenomenon and has sold millions becoming one of the best self-help books of all time. It has gone on to spawn a series which has been translated into more than 40 languages and 50 million copies have been printed worldwide.

The simple idea behind the book is that women and men are such very different beings they might as well be from different planets.

On its release this idea caused a stir among feminist commentators who were unhappy about the assumption that the two sexes are so different. Yet this comical take on the differences between men and women, which has been turned into a one-man stage show, can be enjoyed as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the differences — whether biological or cultural in nature.

The production visits Norwich Playhouse tomorrow — just a fortnight before Valentine's Day — in time for couples to sort out their differences.

And the show itself is all about the everyday situations that we all find so frustrating. But by poking fun at them, it also explains how we can cope with each other a little better.

Actor Ian Houghton, who will be acting out a number of stereotypical everyday situations during the show, said: 'It's the perfect show for couples who are prepared to laugh about themselves. The main thing we're trying to get across is that we treat each other the way we want to be treated ourselves.

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'That's not necessarily the way to go about it. Women need care and understanding and men need trust and appreciation.'

The married father-of-two, who says that working on the show has been a 'revelation' and improved his relationship with his wife, adds: 'Obviously, every individual is different and we're dealing with generalisations. The show has serious content but it's thoroughly entertaining.'

t Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, Norwich Playhouse, February 4, �14 (312 cons), 01603 598598,