Bishops Grove, New Wimbledon Theatre, 16 May
Cocky twentysomething, Jack finds himself trapped with peculiar masseuse Sidney. With no one coming to help them the unlikely couple end up questioning their identities, the depravity of life and why Geri really left the Spice Girls. All the while, another person is set to go missing in Bishop’s Grove…
Retison Theatre‘s production, as part of the Illuminate Festival, is a dark comedy and this always brings fear into me when I see something described as that. Thankfully Bishops Grove is funny, it feels very League of Gentlemen-Bishops Grove seems like Royston Vasey and Fletcher’s performance is very Ricky Gervais but it feels like it should be a one off comedy on BBC2 rather than a play. The dark tone feels like a bonus to what would have been an adequate but unremarkable comedy drama. The comedy is done exceptionally well, Sidney’s fury that Geri has been voted the Best Spice Girl will resonate with those of a certain age as well as the references to 90s CITV.
I enjoyed the performances from both and Ginger’s writing is very strong and dialogue very natural. I believe he has a lot of potential as writer for both stage and screen and Tom Fletcher is a real find, the shift from comedy to darkness works as well it does because of him.