Pros: A superb hour of theatre masterfully walking the line between funny and meaningful.
Cons: The set was a bit wobbly.
First of all, I love quiche. I would eat it all day everyday if I could, and can often be spotted at arts events stuffing my face with free quiche. With this in mind I was greatly looking forward to a show that would give me a new aspect of quiche with which to furnish my already quiche-full life. And Kapow! this is exactly what I got, and more.
Quiche isn’t actually a show about quiche – in its literal sense – but the quiche is the fulcrum around which everything is set into action, and serves as a symbolic device that, with a bit of thought, reveals the seemingly obscure title to be a clever one.
The play is set in John and Jenny’s house and begins as they prepare for a dinner party (cooking the quiche etc.) with John’s friend from work Jake and his partner Jo. John has been in the process, over the previous couple of weeks, of convincing Jenny and Jake to take part in a ‘foursome’ or wife swap. This is mainly because John wants to have sex with Jo, who is the only one unaware of the plan for the evening. Jake and Jo arrive and from here we get a rather ructious journey towards the evening’s inevitable conclusion.
This is a play of so many strengths. The characterisations and performances are brilliant, and the way the characters interact in their personal language is simple and authentic. There is a naturalism here that is rare; here is a show that lets the characters bring their own intelligence to the script. Even a mention of Freud seems like a natural progression of the conversation, rather than pretension from the script writer. The mix of the very banal everyday with a complex sub-text is expertly navigated by the cast, with the help of unassuming direction. For me it was a seamless synthesis of Abigail’s Party with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
The set itself is appropriate, a suburban living room, but it doesn’t really add to the action at all. The wobbliness of the bar area did also bring me out of the narrative on a few occasions. The only other quibble I have is that initially I was worried about the gender stereotyping of the characters. Both men are randy man/boys and the women eye-rolling woman/mothers. Even though this is addressed in the show, and is slowly eroded by the events of the evening, there may have been a better way to present the characters initially.
Overall, a fantastic, perfectly paced hour of theatre, which could have gone on much longer. The ending was sudden and worked perfectly for the purpose of leaving the audience with plenty to think about.
Written and Directed By: Frank McHugh
Producer: Lotus Productions
Box Office: 020 7482 4857
Booking Link: https://cam.tickets.red61.com/performances.php?eventId=3113:1217
Booking Until: 7 August 2016