“Chum” by Matt Lamb
Create Theatre, West Notts College
Create Theatre, West Notts College
This is the second of two days that “Chum” has been performed at The Create Theatre in the performance space at West Notts College just on the outskirts of Mansfield.
This is the fourth production from Smelly Sox Theatre and focuses on Harry Bishop, a successful, blue comedian at the height of his career, and while his career is looking healthy, his personal life doesn’t quite match up to his professional life.
It’s Harry’s birthday and he has decided to leave it all behind. He is set on leaving his newly pregnant wife and two kids behind and packs his case but is then paid a visit by Billy Moore, his best friend. Why has Billy called on Harry right at this pivotal time in Harry’s life?
It's payback time for Billy and his almost psychotic sense of humour wreaks havoc in Harry's life for a short while.
There are several red herrings which we interpret as such, but as these two know each other so well, it's as if they are both in on the info we see as red herrings.
Shocking as this play starts out to be, the ending is a slice of comedy in the style of Tom and Jerry or of the old silent movie era with the pair burying their grievances and working together to move on with their lives.
Tom Wilson plays Harry who is a "star" of the comedy scene. Every woman wants a piece of him. He is
With the intimacy of the studio space, you get to see every nuance of the character played, and Tom is a confident performer, he has to be with his first introduction to us. Not only does he not overdo the anger scenes but he smashes the quieter, more thoughtful scenes, giving us an extensive view of his character's emotions.
Dan Wilkinson plays Billy. When we first meet Billy he comes across as a bit of an annoying mate who is a proper "lad". But there's a dangerous side of Billy because you don't quite know when he is being
I've seen Dan before but this, for me is his best to date, mainly because the role and character is a meaty one that he really gets his teeth into. He looks like he is enjoying being this nasty piece of work, teasing Harry and messing with danger. Billy sees this menace with glee and is almost like Pennywise in the film "IT", but without the make up.
While Harry's overtly shocking, always looking for a reaction and making you feel uncomfortable with his
The play is written by Matthew Lamb and I've seen a progression in his writing in this play from his others I've seen. There's an increase in the cleverness and intelligence in Matt's writing. The intricate intertwining of the two characters and the drip fed pieces of the pair's backgrounds and lives keep us fixated on the two characters and actors.The story is well thought out, as is the revenge plot which is very dark, but then is brought back at the end with the wonderful comedy ending.
i must also commend the direction of the head-butt scene and the trust between the two actors because, from where I sat, that looked pretty close to making contact!
There are many lovely comedy touches (loved the "I Will Survive" section), and comedy is a big part of this play, and while I know the language is in there to cause reaction to shock, I thought that maybe that could have been reigned in just a tad.
At around an hour long Matt and Smelly Sox Theatre have resisted the temptation to drag the story out
It says everything it needs to say in the perfect time span, and that’s important for new plays, especially dark comedy, and Matt and co have learned to read their target audience accurately.
Shame it was only on for two nights as plays like this should be seen by more. It's one I'd see again for sure.