Drayton Arms Theatre
On another night of Brexit mayhem in party politics it was a relief to have a night of chaos that kept its destructive tendencies on stage. PREDRINKS/AFTERPARTY is a high octane and fizzy romp that is aptly described, as one of the characters says of themselves, as “a food processor with the lid off”.
It is a play of relentless comic one liners. At first some of the clever lines are lost in the avalanche. The actors are going at such a speed that they occasionally lose each other and themselves. But it is so smart and genuinely funny you begin to be swept away, like a damn good margarita with real lime zest not sugary filler.
The venue has a cramped stage with little room for a cast of six to engage in comedy with a large physical element. But the frenetic activity is nicely balanced with a regular outbreak of coordinated dancing that brings the cast back together and gives the audience a moment to sit back from the edge of their seats.
So what is our cast up to? it’s a story of big breaks, breakups and break downs. But the big events are secondary to the overall arc which is about relationships and finding a way to romance
Angus (Harry Trevaldwyn) an obscure drag queen is on the eve of a break out career moment. Discovered by Vita, a global superstar and plucked from obscurity to perform with her we are surprised to discover that Angus’ talent stretches beyond drag to match making for the rest of the characters. Wise and willowy Trevaldwyn glitters without crossing over into spotlight hog.
Leah (Jude Mack) is launching into a career for an online Buzzfeed type publication and faces crisis after accidentally inserting vaginal selfies into her article on Celebrity Pet Lookalike Lasagnes. With the help of her friends and their rescue “Project Vagasgne” she powers through to get to the real meat in her lasagne, resolving her relationship with her ex girlfriend.
Ally (Eliot Salt) is managing Angus’s rising star and hoping to get back together with Leah. Ally sneaks in in some of the best lines under the veneer of being the Sensible One. It is hard not to root for her to have a courtship resurrection.
Jenny and Jack (Olivia Marcus and Eric Stroud) are trying to get out of their own awkward ways and seal the deal with each other. They share the same interests, sense of humour and geek sensibility. If only they weren’t completely socially incapable.
The Second Act brings in Sazzle (Martha Prohen) as an evil blade in the blender who lands like Miranda Hart in a china shop. She disrupts the buds of romance around her for her own wicked ends. She is the pantomime baddie and it is inevitable that justice is coming.
PREDRINKS/AFTERPARTY is an original and manic farce of quirky characters and ludicrous situations. Written by Mack and Salt there are rapid fire sparkling one liners that make you itch to get hold of the script and enjoy all the bits that you missed while giggling. The pair are clever enough to deliver the one liners and not lose sight of sound structure and story arc. There is a surprisingly touching love scene towards the end that refreshingly changes the pace and allows room for heart and funny bone. See this and look out for more from this writing duo and cast.
https://www.thedraytonarmstheatre.co.uk/ Until March 16th 2019
Drayton Arms Theatre
153 Old Brompton Road
Review by Andrew Hebden
Queerguru Correspondent Andrew Hebden is a MEDIA & CULTURAL STUDIES graduate spending his career between London, Beijing and NYC as an expert in media and social trends. As part of the expanding minimalist FIRE movement he recently returned to the UK and lives in Soho. He devotes as much time as possible to the movies, theatre and the gym. His favorite thing is to try something (anything) new every day.