Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Lucky Sods - Lowry Theatre, Salford

Lucky Sods by John Godber
Director: Nick Lane
Reviewer: Stephanie Rowe

As with all John Godber plays you know you are in for a really good show... provided the play has been directed well... and with Lucky Sods at the Lowry Theatre Salford, and also on tour, this production by the Hull Truck Theatre Company is certainly one not too miss.
Morris and Jean do the lottery every week and watch as their dreams fade on an all too common weekly basis, until one day Jean changes the numbers and bingo they win £2 Million.
As with many others who have won they say it’s not going to change them, but Morris has a lot on his plate with his mother being in the hospital after suffering a series of strokes, this only adds and compounds the stress that the couple are already feeling over the death of their daughter a few years earlier.

Directed by Nick Lane the production has you laughing from the start. Lane’s direction has a lightness to it, which only makes the more emotional scenes even more powerful. Credit must also be given to theatre stalwart John Godber who still knows how to write edgy observationalist comedy and one can see why next to Shakespeare in the UK he is the most performed playwright.

Morris played by Gordon Kane really is in tune with his character, playing him with such passion and emotion that you can’t help being swept along with him on his journey. Jacqueline Naylor gives us a relaxed and laid back approach to jean which juxtaposes nicely against her co-star Kane.

Fiona Wass playing Annie, Connie and Mother seemed to fill into the trap most actors do when playing several characters and that is to not differentiate them well enough that after a while they seem to morph into one and the same character. James Weaver is a highly talented man, with fantastic comic timing his camp portrayal of the Vicar and dim Norman roles really shows his talent from the off.

The set designed by Pip Leckenby of £ signs falling into a simply decorated lounge in the first act and falling into a open air scene in the second act allows the play to run smoothly without vast scene changes or long breaks between each scene.

You wouldn’t believe that this production has been on tour for two months and still has a long run ahead of them, performing with a real freshness and energy that makes for a truly enjoyable night at the theatre. You may not win the Lottery but if you get change to catch this production you will most certainly have a golden ticket!

Lucky Sods runs at the Lowry Theatre until Sat 18th April 09
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