If you have seen this play and you were outraged then I can only apologise.
Admittedly, it is not a play for everyone or even most people, however I left the Pentameters Theatre drunk on fun – and no, there was not a sambuca shot in sight! It is hard to know whether my incessant laughter was merited to the dark humour of Jackie Scarvellis or whether the awkwardness of how bad it was choked me into a coma. Either way it was well worth the rather pricey twelve pounds.
Set in Brighton, Henri Theydon Bois (Mark Perry of Dead Ringers, BBC3) has been given the blow of the century – no pun intended – apparent from the start that his gay Arabic chauffeur is going to ditch him at the altar. To save him from the horror his alcoholic no hope faghag steps in as the love of his life in a twisted but strangely warming ‘Happily Ever After’ ending.
With humour darker than even Julia Davis could contend with, this play should have come with a warning. From start to finish the past-their-sell-by-date actors dashed over racial one liners and homophobic jaunts forcing the diverse and predominately pink audience into a ‘learn to laugh at yourself’ situation. It was plain to see it was all in jest though as the audience laughed along with Jackie. I say laugh… I was nearly screeching at one point, and I definitely heard my neighbour let out a grunt.
Yes the play was a little outdated, a bit rough round the edges and the cast either lost a bet or simply had nothing better to do, BUT what better way to spend your Sunday than to laugh with childish insanity along with a very interesting bunch of people. And in any case, fifteen minutes of laughter adds a day on to your life (I may have just made that up but it sounds good to me!)
If you’ve missed this play then shame on you! However do not fear, why not get yourself down to Brighton Beach for your own version of a ‘Carry On’. Quadrophenia being easily one of my fave films, Brighton holds a soft spot for me. All you need is some slick wet look gel and a parka, throw in a Lambretta and you will be living the sixties dream. You can’t be one of the faces without seeing this film so get it on the radar before the sixties are back on the shelf.