Friday, 14 June 2019

THEATRE REVIEW: The Greek - The Met Theatre, Bury.



“The Greek” has been described as a "Brexit comedy" which in all honesty led to a rolling of the eyes from me - the idea of sitting through more satirical Brexit material didn't fill me with enthusiasm. However, what I had missed about the statement is that it is a "Brexit comedy........without the politics" - much more appealing. The play was written by local writer, actor and comedian Lewis Charlesworth. I had the pleasure of reviewing his debut play "Cheaters" last year and it was excellent.

The story of "The Greek" revolves around Mary (Betty Webster) - a grandmother in her 80s - and her grandson James (Lewis Charlesworth) who had been estranged for many years. James is now 31 years of age and feels ready to reintroduce himself to his grandmother and so arranges a visit.

The other character in the play was John (Peter Slater), a neighbourly type who spends much time with Mary chatting over a cup of tea and a biscuit. The relationship between Mary and John is a little complex in that he seems to annoy Mary most of the time - she expressed this on more than one occasion - but she clearly secretly enjoys his company and their regular chats.

Mary was very keen to keep her black grandson James very far away from her neighbour John and his rather dated attitude - if I am to put it politely. Inevitably she was unable to do this and what results is a hilarious and in some parts uncomfortable meeting between the three of them.

This is a superbly written play by Charlesworth that touches on some very tricky subjects around immigration, race and political correctness. Some of the narrative is a little uncomfortable as words are used that are quite rightly no longer acceptable in the modern world. However, Charlesworth manages to get comedy value from these touching on the fine line between a cringe from the audience and a laugh - The Greek is very much about the laughs.

The play is about an hour long with an additional 20 minute interval, which if I am honest felt a little unnecessary. I feel this could quite easily run as a single act but this did not by any means spoil my enjoyment of The Greek. Charlesworth is a very talented writer and I very much look forward to his future works.

Reviewer - John Fish
on - 13/6/19

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