Where: The Network Theatre, Underneath Waterloo station, 246A Lower Road, Waterloo SE1 8SJ (Lower Road is a private road and not on maps. From the station take the Waterloo Road exit signed to Old Vic, turn right and right again down the first service lane under the arches, next to Paul’s patisserie. Network Theatre is 40yds on the left past loading bays).
£: 15, (10 concessions)
What is it?
Tucked away under Waterloo station, past a dingy area full of service exits and smelly bins is a hidden gem. Through an unassuming door is the tiny Network Theatre, which is currently showing a production of Ferenc Molnár’s The Wolf.
The play begins in a restaurant with two soldiers drunkenly describing the cosmetic values of the women they’ve met when in walks Eugene Kelemen (Brendan Jones) and his wife Vilma (Katherine French). Kelemen is not the dashing handsome type and seems to have some issues with his wife being in the same room as any other men, so when an old flame of Vilma’s appears out of the blue problems begin to arise.
But it is not until the second half of the play when Vilma begins dreaming about the Countess’ ball that the comic behaviour really kicks in and things become ludicrously funny. The two butlers alone created enough comic value to keep everyone laughing. The play had some fantastic lines in it which were delivered in a brilliantly deadpan way.
This classic farce has all the elements to make you laugh out loud from the drunken soldiers, the slapstick bulters and the fainting countess to the jealous husband, the deadpan waiter and the highly-strung artiste. Even the changing between scenes had a charm to it as the actors waltzed around the stage with each other and the props. The play does end on a sad note but I still left with a smile.
More info: Box office tel: 020 3509 2827 and Sturdy Beggars website.