Panga (2 stars)

This article is from 2012


Well-acted comedy lacking in subtlety and originality

Lucy’s life is in a rut: she drinks too much, her flat is a state and her dull, grey-suited boyfriend Gordon no longer shares her fun-loving, hedonistic attitude. The strain on their relationship intensifies with the arrival of Panga – a drinking, swearing cuddly toy from Lucy’s childhood. Panga is all id – while superego-ish Gordon wants Lucy to grow up and act responsible, Panga’s delight in chaos and alcoholism acts as fuel to the fire, and things spiral quickly out of control.
If this sounds similar to recent Seth MacFarlane comedy Ted, that’s because it’s damn near identical.

The two leads (Mark O'Neill and Beth Godfrey) are filled with energy and charisma – Godfrey's Lucy in particular brings to mind Kate Winslet’s Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Unfortunately, the script is leaden: punch lines are telegraphed a mile off, while subtexts are spelled out with all the subtlety of a dog humping your leg. Go along to Panga for a laugh, but don’t expect to be credited with any intelligence.

Hill Street Theatre, 226 6522, until 26 Aug (not 14), 8.30pm, £11--£13 (£9--£11).


  • 2 stars

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