THE GOLDEN F**KING YEARS
by Adrian McLoughlin.
The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, 410 Brockley Road, London SE4 2DH to 28 April 2018.
Runs 95 mins No interval.
Review: William Russell 20 April
Hilarious look at sex and the senior citizen
This sparkling comedy is set in one of those retirement towns somewhere on the Mediterranean to which Brits of a certain vintage flock to end their years in the sunshine knocking back whatever tipple takes their fancy. Gordon (Adrian McLoughlin) and Helen (Deborah Maclaren) are living their death in mutual dislike – he drinks too much and complains about being 70, she reads detective novels and doesn’t listen to him. One evening he goes out to a favourite bar, she stays home. It is busy, he shares a table with Cath (Anneli Page), a forty or thereabouts blonde who says she is just checking the town out as a possible place to stay.
But one thing does lead to another – with disastrous results because Gordon is no longer on top of his game. Cath is none too thrilled, but she is a lady who does not mind who she goes to bed with and who should she bump into over morning coffee but Helen. Unlike Gordon she rises to the occasion.
The result is a very funny, rather sad, and beautifully performed tale. McLoughlin’s Gordon is a wonderfully self absorbed gnome of a man incapable of rising to any occasion and blaming everything on his hernia and his age, Deborah Maclaren’s bored to tears but still not giving up Helen is patently too good for him, while Anneli Page’s Cath is a bed prospect any red-blooded Englishman or woman would be tempted by.
It ends with freedom for some and a rather dismal future for one.
The play was given a rehearsed reading at the Arcola and the result was the invitation to play the Jack. McLoughlin is a well known character actor and this is his first play in which he expounds his belief that ageing is no reason for giving up living. He is already writing his next play, but meanwhile this one deserves to be seen.
Gordon: Adrian McLoughlin.
Helen: Deborah Maclaren.
Cath: Anneli Page.
Director: Clare Prenton.
Designer: Chris de Wilde.
Lighting Designer: Ben Jacobs.
Sound Designer: Jack Barton.
Fight Director: Keith Wallis.