Easily, this was the funniest play I watched at the 24:7 Festival. It oozed humour by the bucket load. I don’t think a minute went by without at least a chuckle from the audience. As a comedy writer myself, I know how difficult it is to make people laugh. So, well done to the writer Joanne Sherryden, who executed comedy with precision.
There isn’t a story to follow exactly. Just the journey of a gay man and a straight woman, who have more things in OPPOSITE than that! However, what’s that famous saying, ‘opposites attract!’. So we all know from the word go that their friendship has to work, no matter how many obstacles are thrown in the way.
This play simply revolves around the two main characters interaction. Shelley (Danielle Henry) and Joe (Anthony Crank). Shelley was your typical loud, over confident and gobby woman with the hidden vulnerability that was inevitably existent. She would fit right in down here in Rochdale! Her entrance reflected this perfectly as she barged into Joe’s home, looked around as she pleased and chatted nonsense without an intake of breath.
Where as Joe began fairly reserved, but don’t you worry, he soon turned into that ‘bitchy’ gay man lurking inside. The more comfortable he became, the more gay qualities he let loose. His claws were well and truly sharpened with some of his hilarious comebacks. A great example being when Shelley advertises her new dresses, holds one up to her body and enthusiastically asks Joe, ‘What does this dress say to you?‘ His very simple, somewhat harsh reply, ‘Leave £10 on the table, love.‘ Comedy genius. The dialogue was realistic, and was a smooth as my dove moisturiser. Sherryden has a real flare for the natural rhythm of speech and conversations.
Shelley was the ultimate faghag! They argued, laughed, mocked, criticized and bitched knowing it was all in good humour. There are no consequences in a relationship like theirs. You do follow them through their highs and lows, slowly realising they help each other out in the process. Nearer the end of the play, more emotional and serious scenes jumped out at you! So much laughter, turns into a lot of sorrow. But still, hints of humour were present, even through their tough times. The characters make this play, and the actors definitely did them justice.
I feel the ending was a little disappointing. The energy fizzled out, and I think the last two scenes were unnecessary. I like to be left at a crucial point of a play, and a resolved ending seems a bit of a cop out. However, this may have suited the nature of the play better. One other small problem, was their use of projection. They used it at the beginning to show clouds and then right at the end to show a rainbow. I don’t think it helped the play in any way, and there wasn’t a real point in using it.
Otherwise, a light hearted, heavy, happy, sad, witty, simple, cultured, common mess of a play! Most definitely an entertaining watch. Great if you want to get out of the house, leave your troubles behind, sneak into another world of drama and earn an evening of laughter! After all, we all love a a bit of gossip, right?!