Where: Barons Court Theatre, The Curtain’s Up, 28a Comeragh Road, London W14 9HR
£: 12 (10 concessions)
What is it?
Drowning Fish Productions and The Impulse Company present Sleeping Dogs by Brenda Gottsche.
Doctor Roz (Barbara Hatwell) is Britain’s fastest-rising celebrity shrink. Her radio show has ratings through the roof and her self-help books fly off the shelves. She’s got a great marriage to Leo (Edmund Dehn), who has just written a best-selling crime novel, and a teenage son whose idea of rebellion is to find Jesus. All seems well until Leo’s past begins to catch up to him.
Barons Court Theatre is situated in the cellar of the Curtain’s Up pub. Most pub theatres tend to be based in a back or upstairs room. This is the first one I’ve ever visited in a cellar. Small and cosy with a minimal set there are some clever scene changes with the use of a simple radio ‘On Air’ sign and the sound of callers discussing their problems with Doctor Roz.
The teenage son, Alex (Joel Dyer), provides most of the humour as he plays up to his parents when they suspect him of being gay. The Aussie friend Andy (Andrew William Robb) who causes Leo’s past to come out is the right balance of pally and threatening.
Sleeping Dogs is meant to ask us what we really know about one another. If the characters in this play are anything to go by, then not much! As Leo’s past begins to come out, at first it all seems rather interesting and dangerous with the threat of gangsters and the law catching up with him. But as the actual truth is revealed near the end it all seems a little brushed over and disappointing.
More than asking the question of how much we know about one another, I think the play points out that no matter how successful and well-adjusted your life is, there is no such thing as a perfect or trouble-free life. It’s not just skeletons in closets and lies that can unravel lives but it’s also the things we have little control over such as health problems, difference in views and generation gaps. These are things that money and success can’t always fix.
More info: Phone the box office on 020 8932 4747 for tickets.