Michael Frayn’s Alarms & Excursions is not a play but a series of sketches that could be said to revive, but for the absence of musical numbers, that largely forgotten stage genre, the revue.

Four brilliantly versatile actors give us eight playlets in all, some longer than others. Only two show us the same set of characters, a middle-class couple (Aden Gillett and Belinda Lang) playing dinner party hosts to friends (Robert Daws and Serena Evans). In the first we find them falling foul of ringing telephone bells, bleeping smoke alarms and other irritating impedimenta of modern life, including a high-tech bottle opener that resolutely fails to open. In the second, we see the closing stages of the get-together, with the guests unable to leave because new topics of conversation keep presenting themselves.

If the first appears to make huge demands on both the performers and the technical team (and especially Matthew Bugg’s sound), this is nothing to what we see and hear in Immobiles, which closes the show. Set in the days before we all had mobile phones (reminding us that Alarms & Excursions dates from 1998), it concerns a mismanaged meeting between a German visitor (Daws) and his British hosts (Evans and Gillett) being arranged, or rather disarranged, through a series of recorded messages between them left and received on payphones. When the hostess’s old mum (Lang) goes AWOL en route to the couple this ratchets up the comedy a further degree.

The most substantial offering of the evening — and the most instructive, with so much of the acute social observation for which Frayn has long been famed — is Doubles. This finds middle-class holidaymakers (Daws and Evans) getting to know — and very soon trying to un-know — the working-class pair (Gillett and Lang, pictured) in the hotel room next door.

So much of the humour in this two-hour show is rooted in the sort of experiences that will be familiar to many of us. Who, for example, cannot empathise with the trio of business folk (Evans, Daws, Lang, pictured) struggling to do the right thing in terms of applause, toasting, eating and referring to notes and diaries — as their boss (presumably Gillett, out of view) drones on in the clichés of corporate speech at a rallying-the-troops reception? n Until Saturday. Tickets: telephone 01865 305305 (www.oxfordplayhouse.com).