Thu, 11 Jul 2019
REVIEW BY YVETTE CASTER
Hungerford Summer Festival
Community of Hungerford Theatre Company: GamePlan, at Herongate Club, Hungerford, on Friday, June 28
SELLING one’s body isn’t exactly the easiest or most popular of themes, so kudos to The Community of Hungerford Theatre Company for having the chutzpah to tackle this topic, albeit via a comedy by Alan Ayckbourn. GamePlan tells the tale of 16-year-old Sorrel Saxon and her mum Lynette, formerly well off, now struggling to keep their heads above water in their
expensive Thames-side home after the family business has collapsed and the man of the house has run off with another woman. Sparky and street-smart Sorrel thinks she has the perfect plan to fix the family finances – secretly take up prostitution with the help of her best friend, the loyal but comically dim Kelly. Dark, if slightly dated humour ensues, as the girls prepare for their work and meet their first client. Sue Burgess was excellent as care-worn, chain-smoking mum Lynette, while Roushka Westall, although perhaps a little old for the role, was captivating as Sorrel, a character by turns know-it-all and innocent. Zoe Hobbs was very funny as the lumbering Kelly – always trying to help her friend but frequently, comically messing up. Gareth Burgess also brought a lot of humour to the piece as dull as ditch water john Leo Tyler.
I had a few very minor gripes with the props – for instance, when the girls go shopping for sexy clothes and generally raunchy get-up it made no sense that Sorrel returned with bags branded Mint Velvet and Sainsbury’s – unless these shops have seriously changed their stock since my last visit. Similarly, Sorrel was apparently laying out porn magazines for her clients in another scene, but the magazines the company used were women’s health mags (although I suppose it’s wise to avoid giving the front row a heart attack if possible). Other than this the play flowed really well, with a great set, good use of music between scenes and a confident supporting cast.
Although it was a surprising choice for a play this was certainly an interesting show by a very game group.