In The Piste, 4****, London

by John Godber

Jack Studio Theatre, Brockley Jack, 410 Brockley Road, London SE4 2DH to 11 November 2017.
Tues-Sat 7.45
Runs 1hr 40 mins One interval.

TICKETS: 0333 666 3366
Review: William Russell 26 October.

Shenanigans on the ski slopes
John Godber’s comedy about two couples who go on a ski-ing holiday to Chamonix – they are all novices – and leave sadder and wiser gets a spirited production in this latest revival. Director Andrew Agnew keeps things moving briskly, lets the jokes work – Godber is not the most sophisticated of playwrights so they are mostly pretty broad – and when things turn bitter sweet, as the strains of life on the slopes and the allure of ski instructors take effect, allows the necessary serious notes all good comedy must contain to come through.

Chris (Andrew Agnew), who does funny voices for TV commercials, is a thirty something Scottish out of condition worrier. His partner, Alison (Ellie Jackson) is far more down to earth and finds his worrying annoying. Dave (James Murfitt) is a solid, no nonsense chap, whose hoping he will propose partner Bev( Ceris Hine) is one of life’s moaning minnies with a voice that cuts through glass. Naturally there is a hunky ski instructor, Tony (Robbie Smith), who does what ski instructors do après ski ruthlessly. The performances are good – Ms Hine in particular gives Bev wonderfully strident tones as she plays the poor little helpmeet who needs her kit carried to its limits – and there are several moments to treasure, not least the first act curtain in a sauna bath where Tony displays his assets and Dave inspects his. Do not ask, but when Dave takes his towel off is one such moment. You could say thongs ain’t what they used to be.

By the end of the holiday one relationship has survived, one has not – which one is well worth finding out.

Chris: Andrew Agnew.
Alison: Ellie Jackson.
Dave: James Murfitt.
Bev: Cerise Hine.
Tony: Robbie Smith.

Director: Andrew Agnew.
LX Designer: Stuart Glover.
Dialect Coach: Alex Morgan.
Mural Painting: Dan Gillingwater.
Skis: Finches Ski Hire.

2017-11-02 10:30:07

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