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Playing Away - Review

Imagine are forty years old. You find out you are pregnant. Your husband has had “the snip”. You have been married for twenty or so years and you have never cheated on him. How would your husband react when you tell him that you have just found out you are three months pregnant?

Alan played by Gordon Bird, a sincere but jealous pub landlord, had several arguments with Kath, forlorn and hormonal, played by Melanie Sherwood accusing her of “playing away”. He also enjoyed some delightful dialogue with Sarah, his daughter, (also his daughter in real life) played by Tanya Bird. Ms. Bird gave an authentic, gentle, likeable portrayal with suitable facial expressions and gestures.

Dan Walford’s Danny was a loveable “player”, a fool in lust, prepared to even drag up to be in the women’s darts team to impress his new, “Sloane” girlfriend Tara played by Amy Spiller , whose designer garb and exquisite elocution, visually demonstrated that the dear man was clearly batting out of his league! His appearance in women’s clothing was surprising and his disgust at finding out his best mate was gay deeply ironic, as he flicked his blond wig out of his eyes and hobbled over in his high heels! A priceless scene.

Velma played by Lorraine Willis had some touching dialogue as she recounted how her marriage had broken down due to her husband “playing away” after he found out their son was gay. Joyce played by Pat Willis seemed to enjoy her interplay with Velma as the wonderfully observed writing explored how as women we try and diet to retain men and ironically end up piling on more and more weight!

Seamus, played by Simon Trinder, added light to the play as a vest-wearing Irishman who was taught elocution by Tilly Taphouse’s Gwen, the landlady’s demonstrative mother who had a resonance of everyone’s own mother!

Overall, it was a delight going to the pub with our new-found friends.

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