Smoking Ban

Smoking Ban is a one-woman show that, in just over an hour, offers a sympathetic, funny and compellingly real look at the mucky heart of the tobacco industry.

A fingertip-to-toe actress, willing to bare all and unafraid to distort her Australian accent first into an American drawl and then various humorous British imitations.

Slipping through the curtains and into the shoes of a tobacco lobbyist is Carroll, a peppy American sporting a red dress, lipstick and plenty of sarcasm. With a welcoming smile Carroll gesticulates across the stage and fixes us with her ‘come hither’ eyes. As discerning adults the decision to smoke may well be our hands, but as critics of Carroll, we are putty. The speech ends and reality begins.

With the veneer of her work life put to one side, the audience is allowed into the troubled mind of a woman sodden with British drizzle and far away from home. Carroll is a professional. She is keen to please and even keener to succeed. But as the smokescreen dissipates, the addict’s headache creeps in and the thrill of over-the-boss’-desk debauchery gets a little lost. Past ghosts start to appear. Kate Goodfellow performs this gentle descent quite superbly.

With a range that stretches from bombastic to distraught, Goodfellow fills the little stage completely. She is a fingertip-to-toe actress, willing to bare all and unafraid to distort her Australian accent first into an American drawl and then various humorous British imitations. Best of this varied bunch is Jerry, the posh corporate twonk offering 4.5 million addicts a smokey teat and Carroll some after hours fun. As a caricature he is as humorous as he is repugnant.

If there is a flaw present within this show it is overeagerness to tackle meaty issues. From the diminished autonomy of our consumerist society to racism, sexism and moving away from home, the pace of the show sometimes renders playwright and director Jonathan Brown’s cutting observations mere narrative decoration. For a show so well considered and acted however, this is less a critical blow than a slight shame.

Reviews by Milo Boyd

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

SMOKING BAN

Performed by Kate Goodfellow

Winner of Best Female Performer Brighton Fringe 2014

Written By Jonathan Brown

Smoking Ban, set in the high-powered world of tobacco marketing.

The story centres around Carol, Health & Science Officer at Anglo American Tobacco, and asks… What happens when the Smoking Ban goes all the way... to The Top?

Imagine.

You work at the UK headquarters of Ciggy Central, and you’ve just got to be seen to be a loyal user of the product and puff away happily throughout the building or be held with deep suspicion. But then, The Ban kicks in, the building is forced to go “smoke-free” and all that loyalty goes, literally, out the window!

Torn between her loyalty to the company and to the primal stirrings deep inside her from a denied First Nation Heritage, Carol plays both sides..... until Jerry, MD of the company (and her Tuesday morning shag) calls her into his office to ask her why she's not been... inhaling!

Award winning Writer Jonathan Brown’s credits include;

Best New Play in 2012 Brighton Fringe, Best Male Performer in 2013 Brighton Fringe, Best New Play shortlist 2013 Brighton Fringe, Best Female Performer nomination 2013 Brighton Fringe, and this year performing with Kate Goodfellow and Red Belly Black Productions, Winner Best Female Performance 2014 for Smoking Ban.