Bittersweet, intelligent family farce
This article is from 2009.
Suicidal teenager Toby, more-than-half-mad granny Lilly and manic, self-centred, bickering parents Philip and Margot form the spectacularly dysfunctional family at the centre of this bittersweet play. All of them have forgotten things, mainly how to listen to one another.
Touching on issues of mental health, teenage suicide and the alarming ease with which we persuade ourselves that packing our elderly off to care homes is best for everyone, this play is by no means lightweight, yet the subject matter is approached in a way that is accessible and really very funny. It is, though, a dark humour, one that pulls no punches and doesn’t cloud the serious considerations that must be triggered by the events on stage.
Jo Mousley gives an inspired performance as gleefully foul-mouthed Lilly, the grandmother losing her mind to dementia, having perfected the movement of an elderly lady, while the rest of the cast move swiftly around the stage, keeping everything pacy and constantly entertaining. Be prepared, then, for utter silliness, but silliness with intelligence and the power to move emotionally.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 24), 1.50pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8).