Duvet Dave

Who is Duvet Dave? I’m not really allowed to say exactly who, but I can describe him. He’s an irresponsible and belligerent slacker who thinks the world owes him a living because, in his opinion, he’s a creative. He’s wrong. He’s like Jez from Peep Show, except Jez is funny.

The play begins with Dave slumped in a corner whilst a very over-acted chav (Dave’s term, not mine) has a telephone conversation next to him with two other chavs at the back of the audience. It’s a painful GCSE drama exam: grating exaggeration, uncomfortable timing and a lacklustre, lengthy set change to wrap.

Unfortunately, this was the tone for the first half. A flashback involving Dave and his university friends is so full of sighing and heavy breathing, I considered that some kind of bronchial pneumonia must be going around Bath University. People do fill silences with annoying sighs (my family are terrible for it) but not in every possible gap in the conversation. After a while it was almost surreal: a forgotten Beckett piece made up entirely of unnecessary exhalation.

However, things improve slightly in the last twenty minutes. A scene with Dave and his two successful, hard-working friends from university has one or two moments of real discomfort and the final exchange contains some sensitive observations. There are some quite good lines elsewhere in the piece too, although some actors don’t realise it.

A lack of focus undermines the good things in this production. Will Richie’s script is confused and clichéd, but he has an ear for dialogue that could be trained for better use. The performers lack energy and conviction, but occasionally they demonstrate some talent that could be developed.The overarching failure of Duvet Dave is that its protagonist is not remotely likeable. Whilst it does contain a noble message - if you want the apple from the tree, go and pick it - if you leave a production thinking ‘if anyone deserves to be homeless, that guy does’, something weird has happened. Without any sympathy for Dave, whatever we’re supposed to be getting from this piece is irrevocably lost.

This is student drama at its most basic level. Sometimes this can be endearing: we’re watching people progress, people learn. However, with so much else going on, Duvet Dave is something probably best left crumpled at the foot of the theatrical bed.

Reviews by James Macnamara

Zoo

Government Inspector

★★★★
Stand in the Square

Is Your Marmite Watching You?

★★
The Jazz Bar

Jazz Rite of Spring

★★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Rachel Stubbings: Doing It for Himself

★★★
C venues - C nova

Cabaret Nova

★★★★
The Edinburgh Academy

West Side Story

★★★★★

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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

A man lies in a park wrapped in a duvet, cold and alone. His dreams now distant, his previously held ambitions embarrassingly banished. How did he get there? Why did he fail? What happened to Duvet Dave?

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets