by Stephen Wyatt.

Jermyn Street Theatre 16b Jermyn Street SW1 6ST To 4 July 2015.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 3.30pm.
Runs 1hr 20min No interval.

TICKETS: 020 7287 2875.
Review: William Russell 12 June.

Three gay men and a waiter – a dinner table comedy.
Three men in their sixties, long-time friends, meet over a restaurant dinner table. Two of them, Oliver, a university lecturer, and Jeremy, a property developer, arrive early. They want to discuss the third man, Colin, who is something in local government and who, his long term partner having died, has met a nineteen year old Turkish boy, Achmet, whom he has decided to marry.

Oliver and Jeremy are in doubt that Achmet is after Colin’s handbag, a UK passport and, in a year or two, his share of the divorce settlement. Colin thinks it could be love.

We meet the trio twice over a period of eighteen months as they bicker, fall out, drink too much and insult the waiters – and then do it all over again. Somehow they never manage to eat a meal, and their lives do not go according to plan.

Stephen Wyatt’s play, which is very funny, looks at the nature of gay relationships for older men and his trio of ageing queens is beautifully observed and played. Oliver (Robin Hooper) is an old maid academic writing a tome about Cardinal Newman and having the occasional desultory fling with a research student doing the index.

Jeremy (Michael Garner), in an open relationship with Brendan for thirty years and doing most of the straying, finds his world turned upside down when Brendan meets somebody else and leaves him seething. Colin (Christopher Hunter) is simply enjoying a romance that he knows perfectly well will wither and die when it no longer suits Achmet but determined to make the best of it.

The warfare across the dinner table is frequently hilarious, and Wyatt springs a splendid surprise at the third dinner party before bringing it all to a wistful, but not unhappy ending. Things are helped by a nice comic turn from Simon Haines, playing three different waiters who all fail to get the trio to order any food, and a clever, simple set by Bob Bailey which takes us from down-market suburban hell to one of those Italian restaurants with over familiar staff, to a vegetarian nightmare.

Jeremy: Michael Garner.
Oliver: Robin Hooper.
Colin: Christopher Hunter.
The waiters: Simon Haines.

Director: Sue Dunderdale.
Designer: Bob Bailey.
Lighting: Charlie Lucas.
Sound: John Leonard.

2015-06-14 02:02:20

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