Friday, 25 June 2010

Review: Plucker, Southwark Playhouse

In her program note to the audience, Plucker's playwright Alena Smith claims that the play is her attempt "to write an old-fashioned farce about a new generation". If this is the case, then it's a failure. But thankfully, postmodern criticism is quite happy to say it doesn't really matter what a writer thinks they are doing; it's how it's perceived is more important.

Which is a very good thing. Because once you ignore the irrelevance that is the defeathered parrot of the title and the truth serum-cum-tequila, this play is actually quite a competent look at the issues facing late twenty-somethings conducting relationships outside of the traditional model of marriage.

Alexis (Emily Bevan) and Louis (Jamal Rodriguez) have recently moved in together, but aren't feeling the domestic bliss; Julian and Thomasina on the other hand are moving towards marriage quite contentedly. Cue a dinner party, copious amounts of alcohol and a love interest from the past and the holes in the relationships quickly widen.

There's nothing radical about this premise, but it's handled well. Smith's script manages to balance the more outright comedic moments of the night ("I need an IV drip of pinot or I stop having fun") with the serious reflection. And if at times it can all feel a little self-centred, Smith is careful to make sure this sort of naval-gazing provokes is held up for equal mockery.

£8, early bird ticket offer. Southwark Playhouse operates what it refers to as 'Airline Style' pricing, so the earlier you book, the cheaper the seat. However, the airline in question is clearly Ryanair, at the seats are unassigned, and on busy nights it can be hard to get two together if you arrive late. You have been warned.

£2. Brief note form writer with cast biogs - nothing outstanding.

Plucker plays at the Southwark Playhouse until July 3. Phone the box office on 020 7407 0234 or visit the website.

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