Imaginationship, 3***, London

By Sue Healy.

The Finborough theatre, to 23 January 2018.
Sun, Mon 7.30 pm Mat Tues 2pm
Runs 1h3 45 mins One interval/

TICKETS: 0844 847 1652

Review: William Russell 9 January.

Sexual shenanigans and death in Yarmouth

One doubts whether this will ever be performed as the end of the pier summer show in this one time popular seaside resort. It opens with two workmen clearing up a crime scene, one is a local, a well meaning yob, the other an immigrant from Lithuania making the best of a promised land which has turned out less the paradise. It is a fascinating encounter, promising hostility, but gradually the two establish some sort of friendship.
Then we move to the tale of Brenda, a raunchy sixty something, her distinctly strange daughter Melody, in town to spend time in a caravan belonging to Brenda’s old schoolfriend Ginnie, now hostess at a past its sell by date dance hall where they are holding a 1976 these were the days event. Brenda is up for anything and makes a play at another immigrant, a handsome Hungarian lad working in the local fish factory who claims he is a marine biologist and suffers from a permanent erection. Melody is hoping her night school tutor Tony will come to see here. She is studying Greek. As for Ginnie, she has been dumped by her policewoman lover and wants Brenda to come and share her new home, recalling their summer of 1976 when, apart from seducing a 15 year old boy on the beach, they enjoyed each other.

It is all very raunchy and Jilly Bond (Ginnie) and Patience Tomlinson (Brenda) seize their parts splendidly. They are forces of nature. One knows something awful is going to happen to someone, but who is anybody’s guess, although there is no denying that the tutor Tony (a sinister Rupert Wickham) is a very odd and really implausible bod indeed. Yarmouth comes in for a lot of abuse which may, or may not, be deserved and much is made of Brexit and the death of the English holiday resort. Melody, although Joanna Bending plays her well, is hard to accept as Brenda’s offspring while the priapic handsome Hungarian is even less credible, though no fault of the actor.
The scenes between the two sixty something women work well as do the scenes between the two workmen, although when all is revealed at the end the revelation, horrific as it is, somehow does not quite ring true. Healy’s play is a steamy and often very funny but ultimately not completely satisfying affair.

Melody: Joanna Bending.
Ginnie Atkins: Jilly Bond
Gediminas; Atilla Akinci.
Baz Canham: John Sackville.
Attila: Bart Suavek.
Brenda Sullivan: Patience Tomlinson.
Tony: Rupert Wickham

Director: Tricia Thoms.
Designer Tara Marricdale
Lighting Design: Richard Haines.span.
Sound Design: Eugene Sully

2018-01-10 15:09:06

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