Sussex Playwrights Reviews: Cooked

Sussex Playwrights Reviews

Cooked

By Natalie Audley
Directed by Richard Evans-Thomas

Unmasked Theatre present their latest production inspired by their scratch programme. Sussex Playwrights previewed an excerpt from the play right at the beginning of the rehearsal process.

‘Too many exes spoil the broth!’ New mum Lucy and brother Adam are discussing their various love lives. Adam’s met a new man, Brett, who still lives with his put-upon ex, Henry – will the first date turn out as expected?

Natalie Audley’s neatly plotted tale of modern relationships recovering from damage with its fluid, chatty dialogue feels bang up to date.

Sophie Cook is wincingly convincing doing the recent-stitches-and-boob-pain realities of childbirth and the smug points a new grandchild can score, while John Black’s Adam offers a real sweetness and hope for this next chance, a softly-spoken gentleness in the face of her teasing and mocking tone that has the audience on his side.

Tobias Clay as Henry is guarded and brittle, nursing the hurt of a complex failed relationship with Brett. Jack Kristiansen’s every bit the assured, urbane advertising exec – until the image is shaken into a building moment of real raw feeling and a last-ditch bid for happiness leaves him broken.

The ending isn’t that much of a surprise – but it had the right feelgood factor we wanted, after an engaging and entertaining dip into this quartet’s world.

Richard Evans-Thomas delivers a slick and pacey production of this tale of modern manners as a final Fringe flourish – and can we take a moment to note the great stage and technical crew support?

Rialto Theatre 30th May – 1st June 8pm, 2nd – 3rd June 6.40pm

Philippa Hammond