All in the Timing

If one ignores the grating scene-change muzak, this was a rather good production – four short comic plays from David Ives’ All In The Timing, plus another from Mere Mortals. The show is quick and well directed, with minimal props and staging used to good effect. It’s also a very good choice for this company; despite his widespread critical acclaim in the US, David Ives has never reached the same levels of success in the UK. Shows such as this are arguably why the American High School Theatre Festival exists, offering the chance to see a young American company performing important American writing on this side of the Atlantic. The acting is consistently decent; there are no real weak links in the four-handed cast, although Dan Igl’s relaxed and naturalistic delivery led him to swallow the occasional line. However, more could have been done to draw out the humour from these pieces. Though the company’s admirably deadpan delivery was refreshing (I have seen All In The Timing painfully overacted elsewhere), the pacing of the scenes often meant that good jokes skirted by unacknowledged. The script has a number of very funny moments, but there were times when last night’s performance failed to capture them.

The plays themselves are, surprisingly, not quite as funny as their reputation suggests. The ideas are great: dating for mayflies; the day-to-day lives of immortal monkeys typing Hamlet; the last day of Trotsky’s life (ice-axe still lodged in his skull). However, the execution stands for improvement. Ives’ self-conscious cleverness won’t be to everyone’s taste, and All In The Timing’s one-act plays often feel like five minute sketches dragged out beyond their natural length. This is most noticeable in the opening play, Time Flies’, which begins strongly, but slowly fizzles out rather than coming to any dramatically satisfactory conclusion. Nevertheless, if you’re in the mood for seeing David Ives performed well, Jefferson High School’s All In The Timing fits the bill perfectly.

Reviews by Tristram Fane Saunders

Pilgrim

A Lizard Goes a Long Way

★★★★
Pleasance Dome

Marcel Lucont's Whine List

★★★★
Banshee Labyrinth

Til Debt Us Do Part

★★★
Pilgrim

The C/D Borderline

★★★★
Voodoo Rooms

Alexis Dubus Verses The World

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

The New York Times describes it as sketches for some hilarious, celestially conceived revue. These comedies combine wit, intellect, satire and fun, exploring many absurdities of existence, focusing on unusual interpretations of life, love and language.

Most Popular See More

My Fair Lady

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets