'outrageous characters bring a tremendous sense of fun'
It is easy to suppose that this play is about gambling, but its focus is elsewhere. During the play we are reminded that life gives us a set of cards and we must deal with them the best we can. In this hilarious comedy the love lives of the central characters intertwine, watched by several others, including a pervy neighbour, a belligerent Grandad and a Scottish penis.
The play penned by Michael Head is inspired by his own family and friends. The play also reveals some of the class struggles that sadly haven’t gone away. It’s certainly told from the working-class perspective with the two middle-class characters being parodied mercilessly. It’s a kind of East Enders with added theatricality.
Whilst the story itself, focusing on two dysfunctional men and the women they are courting, has some very moving back stories, it is the weird peripheral characters who elevate the play from the mundane. The acting is uniformly excellent with some stand outs. Clare McNamara as Helen (the object of desire) brings vulnerability with sass and attitude towards her customers in her caf’. Paul Danan is obnoxiously gross as the dirty minded neighbour. And that penis? Lucy Pinder positively revels in the role of the ‘dick has a mind of its own’. Unforgettable.
Great work from director Jonathon Carr. He brings clarity and focus to this busy fast-moving comedy with parallels to the world of gambling, including a horse race and a boxing match. WORTH A FLUTTER? With tickets at £15, I think it is.
Reviewer Heather Jeffery is founder and editor of London Pub Theatres Magazine www.londonpubtheatre.com (email for press releases: email@example.com)