Pros: The play’s fast pace leaves you completely swept up in the engrossing storyline.
Cons: Some of the plot lines take a while to develop which doesn’t necessarily fit into the quick pace of the rest of the show.
I often wonder how much I should read about a show before I go – I don’t want any preconceived ideas about whether I’ll enjoy it or not but I also want an idea of what to expect. Yet after reading about Jezebel all I knew was that it was a farce about a threesome and to be completely honest I had no idea what to expect.
Despite my reservations about Jezebel’s subject matter, it is a brilliantly funny play about dating, relationships and love. The play centres around the relationship between Alan (Peter Daly) and Robin (Margaret McAuliffe), starting with the first time they met at a business meeting filled with increasing amounts of innuendoes slipped into their conversation. We then see snapshots of their relationship right up until a lull in their sex life a few months on. Alongside this we have an insight into Jezebel’s (Valerie O’Connor) somewhat disastrous love life – a guy breaking up with her from behind prison bars seems to be the icing on the cake.
Both stories are narrated by the characters not involved in that particular scene who make their observations from the side of the stage in a set-up that works remarkably well. The changes between scenes were very well done to, snappy but clear so you immediately know who the play is focusing on and who is narrating the scene.
As Robin and Alan decide how to spice up their love life and finally settle on a threesome, Jezebel’s role in the play becomes more obvious. But this seemingly small decision has life changing consequences for all involved, which play out in a truly hilarious charade. I won’t spoil the ending but I was exhausted after the fast-paced final few scenes!
With a minimal set many of the scene changes are shown purely through the way in which characters act and subtle changes in lighting. A one room set becomes a whole house as characters run around, opening and closing doors. The clear scene changes and simple set design demonstrate the quality of the cast – all three were brilliant. Their character acting is in a farcical style, and despite the emphasis on humour I still felt that I knew all three deeply by the end of the show. The script is also incredibly fast paced and witty with rarely a dull moment, my only thought being that sometimes a point took a while to materialise even after I had realised what was happening.
Jezebel is a quick-witted farce that will leave you gasping for breath by the end of an evening of laughter-fuelled theatre. Very funny with characters you will take to your heart and ardently wish they reach a happy ending.
Author: Mark Cantan
Director: Lynne Parker
Producer: Rough Magic
Booking Until: 31 August 2014
Box Office: 020 7478 0100
Booking Link: http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/jezebel/