REMEDIES
BURDALL’S YARD

 
This show from Middle-Weight Theatre sort of lives up to the company’s name, being not entirely lightweight, and not entirely heavy – but there are elements of both. Set in a pharmacy, called Remedies, it revolves around the arguments between its two irascible counter staff, played admirably here by Matt Roberts and Al Wadlan, with interventions from Justine, the overbearing boss from Hell, and the odd oddball customer, either in person or on the phone. The jokes come thick and fast, there is much shouting and bad temper in a manner which would make John Cleese proud, and a plot which is not 100% believable, but hey, artistic licence. It’s near enough. When this morphs into a long and intense debate between the two edgy friends on the pros and cons of nationalism, racism and Brexit the jokes thin out, and though the arguments pro are vehemently put, it’s clear that the message is con. Not that your critic is pro, you understand. But theatrically it’s a dicey thing to put that in the middle of what is mostly a light comedy that makes its points with jokes. Whether it totally succeeds hangs in the balance; but this is a courageous and often witty stab at putting serious stuff into a comic format.

 

 
*** – 3 Stars

  


John Christopher Wood