Sussex Playwrights Reviews: ‘Spin City’

‘Spin City’
By Karen Bartholomew
Directed by Jack Kristiansen
Production Manager Sara Young
Bootcamp Productions

Monday afternoon, not much going on besides chores at Spin City launderette – and a robbery.

Spin City kicks off its fun tale with a bank of washing machines, jazzy laundry bags and a lady in a loud overall dancing in because no one’s watching.

The soundscape creates a big world out there with police sirens and radio voices and an incoherent drunk phone-in, plus plumbing and washing machine noises, so we know just where we are. Think ‘Carry On’ – an exaggerated police officer plus jeans-off and fart gags and a bank heist plot with millions in stolen cash flying around the stage.

Chatty dialogue and well-delineated characters, with police procedural, medical moments, political rants and some private personal sufferings lightly sketched in – and it’s these individual drives that decide just what the characters choose to do.

Hayley-Marie Axe as ambitious hobby bobby Special Kaye delivered a great impact, Freyja Chandler’s Lol was a quicksilver waif with a bad habit and a smart mouth, Ellie Roper playing Margaret, the laundry lady with a heart of gold and an embarrassing problem sparked some real laughs from her timing and delivery, Nathan Ariss as Teddy brought a sweet pathos and gentlemanly kindliness and Josh Plummer as Jud proved that a droll, appalled tone with trousers off and bike helmet and jacket on is always going to be funny.

There’s a very satisfying twist in the tale, with a great, surprisingly upbeat final flourish.

Given the cartoon and Carry On tone, a bit more volume, energy and drive in its performance would drag us further into the heightened world the story and sound suggest.

Philippa Hammond