Formulaic sitcom that never gains the terminal velocity of real farce
This article is from 2012.
In its very last moment, Dave Florez’s comedy-drama finally finds something truthful. Forty-something alcoholic Zac (Phil Nichol) slumps on the floor and hugs a binful of discarded booze while bawling down the phone to a rehab receptionist.
Beforehand, his screwball nearest and dearest have tried to save him from himself in a formulaic sitcom that never gains the terminal velocity of real farce.
Can you stage an intervention when those intervening are all in some way responsible for the addict’s condition? Zac’s fiancé is sleeping with the addict-turned-interventionist and his second-best mate has been a long-time bar buddy. (The first is there right now.) Most culpable, though, are the right-wing parents that raised him with a belt-buckle and a blind eye. Drinking might be pickling Zac’s insides, but it’s the only thing preserving his spirit.
From his ballsy first entrance, Nichol is a livewire presence onstage; dry as a martini and low-key as a beer with breakfast. However, Florez’s text is nowhere near funny enough to get away with such flippancy and the tokenistic simplicity with which it handles child abuse feels cheap and nasty.
Assembly Rooms, 693 3008, until 26 Aug (not 13), 7.05pm, £14--£15 (£11--£12).