Pros: Great performances from the cast and effective use of props to create different locations.
Cons: The play could have been shorter. There was not enough substance to keep the audience’s attention for the length of the performance.
The House That Looks Like Hitler tells the true story of an intern trying to make it in the cutthroat world of tabloid journalism. She’s on her last chance when she is given the seemingly hopeless task of making a newspaper story out of a Twitter sensation – a house that looks like Hitler.
The play pokes fun at the often moral-free world of modern tabloid journalism. It demonstrates how innocent bystanders can be thrust into the limelight and have their lives turned upside-down by the media.
There isn’t a great deal to the story and this isn’t helped by the fact it is padded out with some unnecessary characters, such as Gwynevere and Hugo. The play should have focused more on the key protagonists and been a little shorter; the audience’s attention began to wane during the last 15 – 20 minutes of the show.
I also felt that there could have been a stronger focus on the key issues and more of a resolution at the end. However, there is a funny twist at the end where we finally get to see the inside of Clive’s shed.
The whole cast give strong performances, but Amelie Owen stands out. She plays two roles: the evil editor and the nice-natured Charli. Both parts are played so convincingly that it took me a while to realise that it was the same person playing them. Tony Parkin, who plays the unfortunate, eccentric Clive whose home is taken over, is also fabulous – very funny and holds the audience in the palm of his hand.
The set is simple but works well. Chairs and desks represent the office and a big, squishy sofa with bad taste cushions represent the front room of the house that looks like Hitler. The set changes are slick: there is a particularly enjoyable scene where the cast marches in formation with chairs, as though they are in the SS. It is hilarious and perfectly timed. The stage is used well with different areas being used for different locations.
Lighting is also used to good effect. Spots are used to focus the audience’s attention on specific areas of the stage, while other areas are blacked out.
Overall, this play is definitely worth a watch. As well as being performed well, it is nice to see that Paint Dry aren’t afraid to create a brand new piece of theatre out of an unusual story.
Writer: Charlotte Cooper-Garcha
Producer: Paint Dry Theatre
Booking Until: This show has now completed its run.