HOKE’S BLUFF To 10 December.


created by Action Hero.

Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street EC1 9LT To 29 November.
Tue–Sat 7.30 pm.
TICKETS: 020 7739 6176.

then tour 2-10 December 2014.

Runs 1hr 20min No interval.
Review: William Russell 19 November.

Enjoyable American dream.
American teen sports-movies are the inspiration for this affectionate, funny and silly look at the world of the high school, where what you achieve on the field matters, not what you get taught.

But which field is beside the point and while the stage is set as what could be a basket ball pitch in a gymnasium – the audience sit on either side and are given penants to wear and urged to cheer at the appropriate time – the game seems to vary according to the whims of the actors. Sometimes it is American football, sometimes ice hockey and sometimes baseball.

The team is The Wildcats and we meet the coach giving fatherly inspirational advice to his players, and then the star-player Tyler (James Stenhouse, who plays all the other men) , and his girlfriend Connie (Gemma Painton, who plays pretty well everyone else including the cheer leader with the pompoms who serves the audience popcorn).

There is one other player – a lady in a black and white striped shirt with a whistle who may, or may not, be the referee (Laura Dannequin, who gets the closing speech about what happened to the pupils in after-life). The answer is, not very much.

There is also a large wildcat – played by Stenhouse or Painton in a furry suit – which is the team mascot. Naturally Taylor wins the game for The Wildcats and everyone lives more or less happily, if unspectacularly, ever after somewhere in Middle America.

Whether the result is more than a pleasing spoof is dubious. The examination of small town American society is far from profound, but it is undeniably an effective piece of theatre.

Both Painton, a pint-sized blonde, and Stenhouse, long and lanky, toil to great effect – his physical jerks routine is breathtaking – and wisely do not adopt fake American accents.

Tyler etc: James Stenhouse.
Connie etc: Gemma Painton.
The Referee: Laura Dannequin.

Dramaturg: Deborah Pearson.

2 Dec 8pm Aberystwyth Arts Centre 01970 623232 www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk
4-6 Dec 7.45pm Warwick Arts Centre (Studio) Coventry 024 7652 4524 www.warwickartscentre.co.uk
10 Dec 7.30pm Peninsula Arts Centre Plymouth 01752 600600 www.plymouth.ac.uk/your-university/peninsula-arts/events

2014-11-20 00:52:14

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