Pros: Truly enjoyable performances all round of a simple, but inviting story
Cons: Slight lack of energy within the second half as the storyline changes
There are always a lot of expectations when the intro states ‘Olivier nominated’; this performance definitely didn’t disappoint. On the Piste is set on the slopes of Chamonix ski resort as we see first time skiers Bev, Dave, Chris and Alison learn from the best.
Bev and Dave are your stereotypical northern couple, brash and dopey rolled into one, this couple’s trip to the slopes is Bev’s attempt at doing something Dave will love, only for her to fall out of luck in more ways than one. Chris and Alison are your ‘met-at-university’ couple, together forever but a lot more lies under the surface as the play unfolds. These quartet of unlikely skiers are taught by Chamonix’s one and only Tony, a charismatic French teacher looking for trouble in every new arrival.
John Godber’s writing was quick and clever. The characters and relationships he has built were fantastically displayed by the 5 actors in this performance. Bev’s hilariously ditsy and high-pitched character, partnered with Dave’s dry and sadistic way of thinking made for the perfect romantic break to become a holiday hell. Alison’s high maintenance, people-pleasing personality overpowered Chris’ wholesomeness to great effect. Tony and his sinister-sultry ways tied the whole performance together, connecting the relationships and the situations into a hysterical performance all round.
Perhaps it was the autumnal evenings we’re having, perhaps not – but the lighting, props and set truly put me within the chilled French mountains. The change of lighting and props marked significant changes in time and scene, allowing the audience to fully engage within the timescale of the performance.
The performances and direction were teamed up perfectly. A very funny first half, establishing the characters, the personality and their reasoning for this adventurous trip were all clearly made. With the second half, we saw the true reasons behind the few snide remarks made between characters and how the outcome of the trip had impacted on their lifelong ideas.
On the Piste is a genuinely funny performance full of loveable characters. A story that goes somewhere from the second we see the characters on stage to the moment they leave. This play is the perfect opportunity for a night out as the winter months draw in, and what better way to enjoy it than in some snow?!
Author: John Godber
Director: Andrew Agnew
Producer: David Ball Productions and Redwright Productions
Box Office: 0333 666 3366
Booking Link: http://www.brockleyjack.co.uk/portfolio/on-the-piste/
Booking Until: 11th November, 2017