A WELL-synchronised cast staged a fantastic performance of new play Last Tango in Redditch at Bromsgrove’s Artrix studio.
Writer Roger Goddard has previously delighted audiences with Fifty Shades of Beige and the follow-up Fifty Shades Darker and this, refreshingly different from his previous two offerings, also did not disappoint.
The playwright’s characters’ discussions of everyday situations are almost individual smidgens of stand-up comedy and there were plenty of chuckle-along one-liners and the clever choice of music played during the scene changes which also generated its fair share of laughs.
Goddard’s characters quickly earn their places in the hearts of those watching because their traits make each one similar to ‘someone you know’.
Last Tango in Redditch centres on Henry who is living with his daughter Louise and her husband Alan who urge him to go out and try something new to enhance his life.
He, along with his best friend Ron, take up ballroom dancing which leads to a complicated love interest and paves the way for a plot with plenty of surprises. The twist before the interval sent the crowd into the break with shocked smiles on their faces and led to you trying to second-guess what was going to happen next. That continued throughout the second half leading to the ‘must-have’ feelgood conclusion.
The whole cast played their part in this production and meant, as well as all the hilarity, there were also poignant moments where you could hear a pin drop and, likewise, uncomfortable friction-filled scenarios.
The pick of the performers on the night were Graham Forbes as Henry and Ruth Messenger as Louise.
Forbes put in a perfect portrayal as Henry, a character no one in the world could not feel for or empathise with and Messenger’s comedy timing, tone and facial expressions as daughter, wife and all-round peace-maker were second to none.
John Aubrey also impressed as shifty husband and son-in-law Alan who clearly wanted the best of both worlds.
Goddard’s plays make you think about life with friends and family and the sociological questions and dilemmas which arise.
What he does best is take everyday life and those ‘little moments’ that we all take for granted and showcases them in a way that makes you leave the theatre thinking ‘maybe I ought to enjoy my friends and family and the time we have together more’.
The remaining performances at Bromsgrove’s Artrix at 7.45pm tonight (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) with the show being performed in The Room Upstairs at the Palace Theatre from April 26 to 28.