The opening premise of Twilight Theatre’s
An ultra-light domestic drama that leaves us as hungry as the curry-less characters
Staged simply, with four seats around a small table, the play tells the story of the uncomfortable dynamic between the two couples. Rob and Chris’s relationship is misfiring, and Phil and Sue are together for very different reasons, it seems. Some of the dialogue takes the form of party chit-chat, but periodically, exposition and character development is effected by a soliloquy from one the characters, while the remaining actors freeze in position. This is perhaps the most successful aspect of the play. Sue (Alex Louise) gets the best of these soliloquys, with a nice passage about how love feels. However, the actors, all recent graduates of Brighton’s Academy of Creative Training, are much less comfortable once the emotional temperature of the piece is raised. Here, we have a domestic drama after the style of Alan Ayckbourn, but with less interesting characters, fewer jokes and little of the poignancy. At times, the script veers in the direction of cliché: 'Money doesn't buy you happiness, but it does allow you to be miserable in comfort,' Rob tells us unironically as the story moves towards a predictable ‘ending’. However, the actual ending of the piece works as a kind of punchline which seems confusingly to undo what has gone before, a device which is both unsatisfactory, and illogical. I cannot say more, without revealing a spoiler.
Waiting For Curry might have been an opportunity to mine all sorts of secrets and issues – Rob is a self-made right-winger, and Phil is a lefty social care worker – but these things are left on the sidelines as soon as they are mentioned, in favour of an ultra-light domestic drama that leaves us as hungry as the curry-less characters.