I missed this marvellous production when it was in Adelaide seven years ago, a situation that I have, happily, now remedied. This very clever comedy, by Ben Woolf, features four superb actors of great skill and talent, with an excellent ensemble rapport: Andy Peart, Gabeen Khan, Iddon Jones, and Paul Shelford. These four play all of the roles, but they swap their characters constantly throughout the performance.
Yuri is a surgeon from Eastern Europe who speaks only a little English. He has arrived in London to find a job and to create a new life for himself and we find him feeding the ducks as he waits for the time to go to an interview. Along comes Patrick who, although he appears to mean well, is patronising and, through his ignorance and bombastic approach, misinterprets everything that Yuri tries to tell him.
He sweeps Yuri up and insists on taking him to the country home of a friend, with a few misadventures along the way. What Yuri discovers there if far from the idyllic trip to the countryside that he expected, and more misadventures follow. There are some darker moments in this comedy that make statements about Britain and, in some ways, these comments could also be applied to Australia.
Not only is the script very funny, the performance adds enormously to the hilarity as the four, who are all dressed alike in sober business suits and ties, switch roles time and again, even mid sentence. Along with the rib-tickling dialogue there is a wealth of wonderful physical comedy, choreographed movement, and facial expressions that had the audience in fits of laughter. The theatre is only a couple of minutes out of the city and this productions certainly make is worth that brief journey. Make it even more worthwhile and book for some of the other performances being presented there. There are plenty to choose from.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: The Studio, Holden Street Theatres, Holden Street, Hindmarsh
Season: Various times and dates to 17th March, see the Fringe Guide or the Weslo Guide
Tickets: $16.50 to $26.90
Bookings: Fringetix Box Office in Rundle Mall, on line here, or 1300 621 255