What would you do to avoid eternity in hell? David Mamet’s wonderful one-act comedy explores one man’s struggle to do just that. Northern Spark Theatre Company adeptly handles Mamet’s renowned style of writing, which is abundant in this play, to a high professional standard. Presenting Mamet’s contorted conception of hell, this outrageously funny production follows the titular character Bobby Gould’s desperate attempts to go home.
Finding himself in hell - or at least the foyer to hell - Bobby, played with great panache by Danny Hutton, must argue his case that he really is a ‘good man’ to the blustering Interrogator, excellently portrayed by Scott Oakley, who captures the menace and darkness between the lines at the same time as providing some marvellous comedy. Having had his fishing trip interrupted, the Interrogator wants nothing more than to consign Bobby to hell and return to relaxation. Aiding the inquisition is the Assistant Interrogator, Paul McCloud, who was very entertaining to watch, fulfilling his comedic role well, adding to the light humour of this production. With fanatical indictments to follow, the Interrogator begins to turn our sympathies against Bobby. However, I found myself rooting for his acquittal when his former lover Glenna is called to hell as a witness. With Kizzy Lindsay’s strident portrayal of the stubborn Glenna, we were left with no doubt as to why the Interrogator begs her to leave. Arriving in the underworld slightly bemused, Glenna soon takes to badgering both Bobby and the Interrogator, leading to Bobby uttering the timeless excuse, ''There was no pleasing her!''
With accusations of sexual threats (with a toaster) bandied about, a fiery plotline and lively acting, Bobby Gould in Hell is a must see for all theatregoers in this year’s Fringe. The recent graduates from Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret Universities excel themselves with this wonderful piece.