Produced by a very active Gravel Theatre Company, the lights went up at the Old Red Lion to reveal a beautifully thought-out set, of a notably high calibre for a fringe venue, on current production NIMBY – an acronym for ‘Not In My Back Yard’ which speaks volumes for the content of this production.
From the get-go this play was fast-paced, front-footed and kept the audience engaged and laughing throughout. Though the story may have been somewhat far-fetched, this play is not about being ‘real’, but aims, and successfully achieves, to provide 90 minutes of pure entertainment, thanks in huge part to the talented writer of the piece.
Since her mini-play ShotgunCivil Partnership in the Rose Garden, performed at Theatre 503, Lola Stephenson – a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme – has graciously matured to give us her first full-length play, managing not to sacrifice her light-comedic tone in the process, which is fast becoming her signature. There was a fantastic dynamic between her characters who found themselves flung together in a hotch-potch of PC-pretensions, emotional-meltdowns and the best of intentions.
Director Elly Hopkins ensured she got the best out of her cast and her vision was projected and received with clarity – there was not a dull moment to be had and the space was used to its best potential, with simple and effective acapellas provided by the cast during scene transitions. Hopkins knows her material and is extremely adept at nurturing it.
NIMBY is a rapidly-stomping play effectively mocking the hypocrisy of the middle classes need to please, which takes you on an amusing journey of highs and lows.
Performances from all six cast members were outstanding and each left a stamp on our impressionable minds. Family affairs between Daniel Curtis – a fantastic and very confused-in-life Max; Laura Dalgleish – disgustingly lovable ‘working’ mum Sally; and Ciaran Dowd’s – torn-between-right-and-wrong Paul, make the best of an bad situation. And the situation couldn’t be further from ideal for Bea (Louise Torres-Ryan) and James (Ryan O’Donnell) who find themselves caught up in this tangled web of propriety.
NIMBY is a rapidly-stomping play effectively mocking the hypocrisy of the middle classes need to please, which takes you on an amusing journey of highs and lows. Though the final scene left something to be desired in a production which had otherwise drawn the audience to the edge of their seats, NIMBY is a resounding success which should get the attention it deserves.
Runs until Jun 25th