ONE OF THOSE
by Tom Ward-Thomas.
Tristan Bates Theatre to 13 02
1A Tower Street, London WC2H 9VP to 13 February 2016.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm. Mat Wed & Sat 3pm.
Runs 1hr 15 mins. No interval.
Review: William Russell 4 February.
Strangers on a train. And very funny.
This sparkling comedy is set on a train to Penzance, a long slow trip in which strangers meet, lovers are found out and lives are changed. Set in the world that Alan Ayckbourn has made his own it is very funny indeed, although to be fair to Tom Ward-Thomas he is his own man.
This is the world of the middle classes where lives are comfortable on the surface, but things do not go according to plan, and beneath the surface relationships have gone stale, there is real pain, and a world in which new ones tremble on the verge of success or failure. It deserves a longer life than this run at the Tristan Bates.
James is a 24 year-old song writer, father of a seven year old daughter from a teenage liaison, who lives in Battersea, but who comes from Cornwall where his parents still live. Laura is the PA to a man thirty years her senior who runs a hedge fund and is also her lover. They sit opposite one another, start to talk, bicker, share confidences, and gradually discover that they might like to get to know one another properly. Also on the train are James, a middle aged divorce lawyer, and his successful businesswomen mistress, Davina who are bound for a dirty weekend in Penzance, a bit risky on his part as he happens to have a home there. His wife, Alice, thinks he is in Eastbourne at a conference. She is also on the train.
The action takes place on the trip down from and on the trip back to London. Ward-Thomas has an ear for dialogue, and exploits the horrors of train life beautifully – events are interrupted regularly with all those despairing train staff announcements that make rail travel what it is today. Ward-Thomas plays James, a slightly cocky bit of a lad, to the manner born, Amy Newton is very funny as Alice, who sees nothing wrong in having a lover old enough to be her father, Martin Ball is every inch the self satisfied having his cake and eating it divorce lawyer, Emma Kelly is a perfect power female, and Louise Bangay is very touching as the wronged wife.
Philip: Martin Ball.
Alice: Louise Bangay.
Davina: Emma Kelly.
Laura: Amy Newton.
James: Tom Ward-Thomas.
Director: Amy Ewbank.
Set Designer: Matt James.
Lighting Designer: Tom Kitney.
Sound Designer: Neil Sowerby.