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Theatre Review: Thark @ Drayton Arms Theatre


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Directed by Off West End Award winner Matthew Parker, Thark comes to the Drayton Arms Theatre.

Set in the roaring twenties, Ben Travers' classic Farce is overflowing with physical comedy, glamourous costumes and quick wit.

With mistaken identity, serious stupidity, lots of slamming doors and even a Beyoncé dance break, Thark begins in Sir Hector Benbow’s (Mathijs Swarte)  home where he has invited the delightful Cherry Buck (Isabella Hayward) to dinner.

From L to R: Ellie Gill, Isabella Hayward, Alexander Hopwood, Charlotte Vassell, Sophia Lorenti.
Image: Ihphotoshots.
Unfortunately for him, his wife returns home early and Mrs Frush (Ellie Gill) - the purchaser of his property Thark - comes to complain about her haunted new abode.

Sir Hector and his family head to Thark to prove to the new owners there are no such things as ghosts.

The production on the surface is almost three plays in one. The plot is reasonably long, with several lines of interest. The physical comedy and rhythm of the production means it zooms by with not one element being lost; every word is heard, every motion is captured and every joke it hit. The humour pushes through and the bold characters we are introduced to keep you engaged entirely throughout.

The Drama Studio London trained ensemble deliver a fast-paced, hugely energetic and hilarious production.

Every actor brings something different to the production. They have such clear characterisation, wonderful timing and excellent clowning.

Mathijs Swarte and Robin Bell
Image: Ihphotoshots
Stand-outs include Robin Bell as Sir Hector’s nephew, Ronald Gamble; an actor with perfect comic timing and a character the audience all fall in love with.

Sophia Lorenti tackles two roles, first the endearing Warner who serves the Benbow family, then as the aptly named ‘Death’ who serves at Thark. She proves that having a smaller role on paper does not mean it has to be a small role on stage! She is utterly charming as Warner and completely hilarious as Death.

The show is huge fun. It’s bright, has fantastic costumes and it’s really refreshing to see a production where the cast enjoy themselves just as much as the audience.

Thark plays at the Drayton Arms Theatre until 6th January 2018. For more information and to book click here.

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