Deadpan Theatre: Third Wheel

Following the untimely death of their friend Dylan, Polly and Eve are fulfilling his final wishes by travelling around the UK with his ashes in a Wizard Of Oz lunchbox. Narrated by live songs with simple music and witty lyrics, the story tells a tale of loss, both in life and love, but balances what could be a tragic story with a side-splitting script delivered with exquisite comic timing. Third Wheel also deals with the realities of working in a creative industry, including unemployment and the fear of ‘starting over’.

Third Wheel is a very strong show and an absolute joy to watch.

Written by Deadpan Theatre’s Eliot Salt and Jude Mack, who double as leading ladies, the show’s script is its clear strength, however it also benefits from an exciting use of the venue’s available tech, harnessing video footage and montage to move the plot along. Mack and Salt are supported by a fantastic cast in multirole parts, with hilarious characterisation throughout. Harry Trevaldwyn deserves special mention for his hysterical performance as the deceased friend who narrates the pair’s travels. Tragedy and humour are comfortable bedfellows in this show, prompting tears and belly-laughs in equal measure.

Despite sharp direction, there’s some choreography within the show which feels overly complex and perhaps doesn’t quite set the scene as well as was hoped, but overall the movement is useful in separating the flashbacks from the plot. The show is slick and paced well with scenes kept fairly short and never feeling lingered-over.

While offering some slightly predictable plot points, an unexplained relationship and a road-trip with locations which seem to have been pulled out of a hat at times, Third Wheel is a very strong show and an absolute joy to watch. The entire cast appear to be having the time of their lives and their love of performance is infectious. The show provides comedy, drama and tension expertly and is acted fantastically, with a script that delivers on jokes again and again.

Reviews by Caitlin Rebecca

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The Blurb

Polly and Eve are driving around the UK with their best mate Dylan in a Wizard of Oz lunchbox. At his funeral, they are handed the box along with posthumous instructions to take him on the trip he never got to go on. Set to witty Sondheim-esque narration from the onstage band The Party in the Sky, this is a story about grief, love and facing up to both. 'Quickfire, zinger-filled scripting' **** (Scotsman). 'Hilarious... Laughs at every turn' **** (Sunday Times).