The Lounge

There comes a time in most good plays when you realise you’ve become completely lost in a moment due to its sheer brilliance. The Lounge, performed by Inspector Sands and produced by China Plate, has a truckload of these moments.

Quite simply, The Lounge is a play that everyone should see.

The Lounge is a farce set in an old people’s home which has the uncanny ability to twist your heartstrings as often as it makes you laugh. Much of the humour is wonderfully dark and surreal and much of it is achieved without anyone uttering a single word. The dialogue, when it comes, is also the perfect mixture of everyday language with excellently odd additions inserted at just the right moments.

Lucinka Eisler as Marsha Hewitt is outstanding, combining fragility, frustration, and occasional murderous urges into a wonderful portrayal of an elderly woman. Giulia Innocenti and Ben Lewis also display obvious talent, playing multiple characters with an envious amount of ease. Innocenti plays with her physicality like an expert, managing to change character instantly by simply sitting down.

It’s somewhat difficult to put into the words, but this is a play that sticks with you long after you leave the theatre. The questions and points it raises about the process of ageing and the state of social care in this country are exactly where they should be – uncomfortably close to the mark. The play is also complemented by a great set designed by Jamie Vartan. Gaps in the walls to the corridor behind the main room of the play allow us to catch snippets of the conversation had between the carers working at the home. Elena Peña and Amy Mae also deserve much praise for their excellent sound-scaping and light design respectively. Director Lu Kemp has also put an incredible amount of thought into everything, right down to who wears what during the scene changes.

Quite simply, The Lounge is a play that everyone should see. You’ll laugh, you might cry and you’ll definitely be thinking about it for a long time afterwards.

Reviews by James Beagon

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The Blurb

A dangerously unstable farce about growing old. 97 years go by in a flash. An afternoon lasts an eternity. In a care home lounge somewhere off the A1, 97 year old Marsha Hewitt begins the last day of her life. But she cannot go quietly. As the radiators burn and Jeremy Kyle blares, rivalries, relatives and murderous impulses jostle for space on the Axminster carpet. By teatime, a riot is brewing. The award-winning Inspector Sands (A High Street Odyssey, If That’s All There Is, Hysteria) shine a light on how we cope, or fail to cope, with ageing.