Wardens takes a rather ludicrous premise and stretches it out to a full hour which lacks plot, humour and originality. This is a shame, as there are talented actors and comedians amongst the bunch, but they simply aren’t given any material to work with. The fact that this is classed as a ‘comedy’ is in itself laughable, were it not for the fact that it the ‘plot’ is so irrelevant that it’s barely theatre either.
The idea is that a full-scale riot is started by a traffic warden issuing a ticket. This is essentially the entire story, as the traffic wardens, plus a chemist and a police community support officer, hole themselves up in an abandoned cricket club building. This finally ends in a ridiculous finale which perhaps was supposed to be moving or poignant, but simply came across as idiotic and made the whole play feel even more pointless as it was such an unsatisfactory ending.
With a non-plot such as this, there needed to be some good jokes to hold it up. Unfortunately they were entirely absent. Contrived situations and jokes were uttered without conviction and fell upon a silent audience. There were some good performances - Vikki Stone and Thom Tuck both played their parts well, although the fact that Tuck’s character was inexplicably an ex-Calpol advert star-turned-chemist made him frustrating to watch, despite his talent. Jokes about excrement and community support officers were tired and painfully unfunny. Overall, the hour was unconvincing and uninteresting, and I ended up feeling as bored as the characters in their ‘hostage’ situation.