Greg is Duck in Arms Theatre’s first production. Advertised as a dark comedy, its style is formed around awkwardness and self-aware gibes. The show is generally humorous, and at times hilarious with characters unknowingly delivering offensive comments towards each other.
A good watch, providing chuckles throughout.
These occasionally fall flat often needing bigger reactions and more space for us to fully savour them. More sustained pauses and some tighter timing would allow the jokes to stand out more and paradoxically help the piece flow with greater energy.
The subtle lighting design and minimal set works effectively to indicate the setting of a pub garden. However, the lack of any sound leaves an impression of emptiness, which is highlighted when an outburst from Michael leads Sally to apologise to the implied patrons sitting around them. As tension increases and passion is released, the lack of any reaction to their surrounding public or vice versa suggests that the pub is as bad as Michael and Sally think, though not due to a lack of cheese and onion crisps. Some ambient noise could remedy this. The subdued ending of the dialogue, however, is perfectly delivered and poignant.
The writing is humorous, and this shines through in its most cirnge-worthy moments. It feels true to life for a group of friends from school reuniting, looking back in light nostalgia and with a degree of social awkwardness. Baxter Westby, Iris Taylor, and Hugo Williamson each capture their characters and the comedy well, though Westby’s performance as Greg is a standout with his comedic timing and natural flow of conversation, neither of which feels forced. This significantly benefited the play’s desire for naturalism. Unfortunately, the twist is not as effective. Nevertheless, parts of it are well set up for those paying close attention. The secrets of the characters are intriguing, though the most important dissimulation feels quite outrageous, but in its confusion rather than what it means for the story.
Nevertheless, Greg is a good watch, providing chuckles throughout.