Not to sound like too much of a lazy so and so, but committing to travel to a venue more than 2 hours from my house isn’t something I usually like to make a habit of doing. But the Tabard Theatre’s production of The Drunken City really did sound right up my street so when I was invited to review the show last night I found it hard to turn down. Luckily it was everything I’d hoped it would be; unashamed girly fun.
Almost like a rom-com in theatre form, Adam Bock’s The Drunken City follows bride to be Marnie as she spends one last night in ‘the city’, an almost spiritual location in which people are allowed to let their hair down and inevitably end up in some kind of trouble. In Marnie’s case, her trouble is that she really doesn’t want to marry her fiancé (discovered after a perhaps ill-judged kiss with another citygoer).
Bock’s script is pretty generic, but also presents an uplifting message about honesty and staying true to yourself. It throws in just about every hen party cliché you can possibly think of – the overexcited bridesmaids ‘wooing’ at every possible opportunity, coordinated headgear and feather boas and the gay best friend – but if you go expecting this kind of cheese then you will get nothing from the show but enjoyment. There were a few slightly odd moments (namely the three or so minutes of slightly random acapella singing about the city) but nothing that really dampens the show’s positive and fun vibe.
The Drunken City‘s boasts a cast that is both impressive and fun. Michael Walters gives a particularly accomplished performance as the incredibly energetic wingman Eddie, thoroughly amusing the audience with his tap dancing and general drunken mischievousness. Another standout is Kristina Epenetos as Linda, capturing both the characters fun and serious sides with equal ease.
Completing the enjoyment of The Drunken City was the innovative direction and set design. On initial inspection Vicky Sweatman’s set is rather simple – a pavement covers the floor with two kerbs either side, along with three drapes across the left hand side of the stage. But as the show begins a range of projections cover the drapes to change the scene. These projections are mostly in a hand drawn, abstract style which gives the show a great sense of stylistic flair. My only irritation here was that during one scene in a church the hand drawn animations suddenly disappeared to give way for a generic stock photo of a church – a bit odd and out of place compared to the rest of the lovely graphics.
If you’re in the mood for a fun night out then you can’t go much wrong with The Drunken City. Definitely worth the journey, I left with a smile on my face and would happily recommend the show to anyone who can deal with a bit of chick-flick cheese.
The Drunken City is playing at the Tabard Theatre until 5th December.