by 2Magpies Theatre.
Antalya Restaurant, Nottingham To 4 April 2013.
Runs 1hr 30min No interval.
Review: Alan Geary: 3 April 2013.
Something different. Worth a look.
We’re in the Antalya Turkish Restaurant in Nottingham about to begin our meal. For starters we’ve ordered and been served deep fried calamari with tartare sauce and Turkish flat bread. We each have a glass of white wine, and, to accompany the main course, some of that Turkish beer is on its way.
At this point a young couple enter, sit down at an adjacent table and begin talking, loudly so that the rest of the room goes quiet. Everyone’s eavesdropping.
In fact, this isn’t a restaurant review; it’s a theatre review. 2 Magpies Theatre are presenting Serenade, a two-hander set in a restaurant.
They’re an aspirational, twenty-something couple. He’s just back from a business trip to Burma followed by a holiday in Thailand. As a forensic sketch artist, she has to draw villains, a job he knows little and cares less about. She also paints pictures, trying unsuccessfully to sell them.
We learn that their relationship isn’t all lovey-dovey; there are simmering resentments, some trivial some not. She harbours misgivings about the ethics of the field he’s working in, and she doesn’t like the way he once complimented her mother on her cleavage.
But it’s when, on her return from the ladies, she catches him on his mobile that things begin to reach a climax and serious stuff about her family is revealed.
There’s a good joke involving a paper bag; and it’s nice to see actors eating for real instead of fiddling with the grub. Ginny Lee and James Pardon look young for the parts but they deliver two realistic performances. The bit where she catches him on his mobile and they both have explaining to do is especially compelling. It’s a shame though that the action isn’t arranged to last through the whole meal instead of just starters.
Main course by the way was Shish Lamb with rice and salad and more of that Turkish flat bread. Helpings might have been bigger, but they represented pretty reasonable value. We had to miss the baklava dessert because the reviewer’s duty called.
Ginny: Ginny Lee.
James: James Pardon.
Director: Matt Wilks.