Platform 8 Productions
Runs until Saturday
In Charlotte Jones’ marvellous comedy we meet the Humble family and the Pye family – an elaborate set-up for a one-liner about what their double-barrelled married name might be.
As you enter the intimate mission theatre you are immediately transported to a garden of an unseen residence, dominated by an effective abstract willow tree, the staging beautifully compliments the action of the piece and is one of the best transformations of the Mission theatre I have ever seen.
Let’s pull the frills away and look at the basic story; a serious and potentially harrowing tale about an Oxbridge fellow at the peak of his academic research, who returns to his mother on the day of his father’s funeral, and then discovers that his mother’s been having an affair with his former lover’s father, and that said lover, whom he ran away from years back, gave birth to his daughter.
Heavy stuff – hence potentially harrowing – but Charlotte Jones has penned such strong characters, and she shares with the strong Platform 8 cast a tremendous talent for droll humour, that you never feel bogged down by events.
Neither are you overwhelmed by the science – the Humble Boy is a theoretical astrophysicist and has an accordant habit of issuing diatribes on the matter, but it is the reactions of others that take the focus.
Of note in the cast, Christopher Constantine is Felix, the Humble Boy himself, a truly mesmerising performance of great control and focus, guiding us through from madman to genius and back again!
So too Nadine Comba, as Mercy Lott – her Grace before dinner has the audience suffocating whimpers and exploding with appreciation at the end.
Mark Hale in his directorial debut has produced for Platform 8 a first class piece of theatre. Go See!