Little England

At the exact same time that Theresa May’s cabinet is in turmoil over the UK’s withdrawal agreement with the EU, Golden Age Theatre Company has set up camp in the Museum of Comedy to share their view of the post-Brexit future.

Daily Mail readers: Enter at your own risk.

Ian Dixon Potter (Writer & Director) is telling a story of a dystopian Little England in the not-so-distant future of Stoke on Trent, 2024. The characters’ views of the referendum, and what came to follow, are very much at the forefront of this production. Brexit is, quite rightfully, shown to be the cause of this Nightmare Scenario and we watch, helpless, as European Heidi (competently played with innocence and frustration in equal measure by Clare Aster) is forced to hide from government officials. Yet the political bias so keenly felt by Ian Dixon Potter is on full display here and it slowly begins to drain away any humour and all the jokes eventually become predictable and, sadly, one-note.

Richard de Lisle, as Ralph, is always able to draw attention when he is on stage, rebelling against the authorities, but his character’s relationship with Heidi feels forced and tacked-on with the chemistry not being given enough time to develop, despite their joint-revulsion at the Brexit issue. Julia Faulkner carries the show as Dorothy, with some very witty off-the-cuff remarks, backhanded compliments and misguided moments of honesty but we yearn to learn more about her and her backstory without everyone she meets constantly harping on about Brexit and “foreigners”.

Kate Carthy and Albert Clack convincingly portray the villains of the piece as suffering Brexiteers who feel they are on the right side of history despite sending their country, and themselves, down the river. Special mention must go to the unseen Robin Lustig, whose Bulletin news announcements never failed to get a laugh as the line-up of future cabinet members gets bleaker and bleaker. I particularly enjoyed the ominous rewording of TFL’s “See it. Say it. Sorted.” campaign

The writer has some very strong points to make and there is no doubt that this is a story that needs to be told but please put the politics aside for a page or two to give the audience time to fall in love with the characters. There were moments when this felt less of a play, and more of a TED Talk.

Daily Mail readers: Enter at your own risk.

Reviews by Christopher James

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A tale of love and hate in Stoke on Trent

Heidi has made her life in England but after losing her job she faces immediate deportation. Will she be captured by the sinister Immigration Office with its unsympathetic officials and vast network of eager informers? Will she find somewhere to hide? Will she even find love amidst the hatred and intolerance of post Brexit Britain.

 

“The whole play was a true delight” “A must see” “Incredibly funny” “It had me laughing out loud”

“Made me feel like I was watching people’s real lives”  “Superb acting”  They suited their roles perfectly”

★★★★★ - Kat Caunter

“Thought provoking, funny, entertaining and chilling, quite an achievement”

“A brave piece of writing which is saved from being preachy by the level of skill in how each character is written”

“Writer and director Ian Dixon Potter sets up a brilliant three way dynamic”

“The mundane and surreal are paired together brilliantly”

“This is an important play”  “Look at what could happen if we don’t do something”

“It is provocative in an unusual way”  “An extraordinary and surreal piece of work”

★★★★ - Open Door

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