Time and a fickle public have not been kind to washed-up actors and long-time foes Gary Savage (Adrian Edmondson) and Nigel Planer (Hugh Delavois).

And to whack the nail that much deeper in the coffin of their flailing careers, the pair find themselves reunited, after 40 years, on the set of a fantasy flop-in-the-making and marooned in the same trailer on an Icelandic wasteland.

Hugh has landed the role of the lead’s butler and is making his seventh film for the Vulcan franchise, while to his utter shame, one-time Hollywood A-lister Gary has been cast as an orange insectoid with four hours in make-up and one measly word in the script.

In less time than it takes to say ‘luvvie’, tempers flare, sparks fly and old grievances come to the boil as the duo enter a fraught game of one-upmanship – their only common ground their shared hatred of Daniel Day-Lewis (who gets his fair share of smack throughout the show); each ridiculous bout refereed by harried runner turned peace-keeper, Leela.

If this wasn’t enough the director has gone AWOL, the catering truck’s on the wrong side of a ravine, and the volcanic activity is growing livelier by the minute…

Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer are the perfect foils (and sparring partners), hurling insults at each other like no-one’s business (the co-writers don’t spare themselves nor their volatile industry).

While Gary and Hugh have experienced wildly different degrees of success, they both somehow end up selling out and, well, following the money. Edmondson is utterly believable as the spiralling Gary, an embittered and conceited Oscar-nominated Hollywood has-been who’s squandered his potential, clout, and cash and finds himself scraping the barrel to pay the bills – and, embarrassingly, even had to pull strings to bag a one-liner on this straight-to-DVD dud.

Although not prone to histrionics – or impromptu dramatic monologues – Planer holds his own as his pragmatic co-star, who has long given up hope of an award-studded career and pootles along, one bit part at a time.

Best of all? For all the occasional broad-brushstroke tack, the play steers clear – refreshingly – of obvious stereotypes and downright caricature.

Zany, biting and packed with cracking one-liners, this madcap romp succeeds in keeping up its comic tempo to the very last second… Vulcan 7 runs at the Theatre Royal Bath until Saturday, October 20. - Marion Sauvebois