Theatre meets television sitcom in Battle of the Exes, a brand new play written by Solihull-based playwright Kathryn Bakewell. Following the lives of 2 couples, the show centres on Marcus and Jemima, a feuding couple who have been through a messy divorce. Jemima's sister Grace and her husband Carl have come to stay, with their baby. Patience is tested and friendships are questioned as their lives collide in the most inexplicable ways possible.
There was some trepidation entering the theatre, comedy is such a difficult genre to get right. It's not just the delivery from the actors, but it also relies on good writing, but I needn't have worried. A very funny script, complemented by well-timed quips from the company of talented actors made for an enjoyable evening.
To set the audience in the mood, the play opened with some television adverts, settling us in for the 'television sitcom' ahead. It was hilarious. The recognisable adverts you see on television each day were brilliantly interpreted and had the audience laughing out loud.
We are quickly introduced to Jemima, played expertly by Katharine Williams. Longing for some male company, she instantly throws herself at her newly-hired decorator Geoffrey, with some humorous consequences. Geoffrey stole many of the laughs of the night, played by Stephen Head, who was excellent in the role.
Little does Jemima know that her ex-husband, Marcus (played by Mark Anthony-Games), has hired the same decorator. Nor does she realise her sister Grace (played by Sarah Lamb) and her half-witted husband Carl (played by Nick McCullough) are still visiting Marcus. As all of them come together the play takes an unexpected twist. Dealing with a sensitive topic, the script allowed each of the characters to develop and it was a pleasure to watch.
It is great that NOMAD Drama are showcasing brand new work and giving local playwrights a voice, long may it continue.
Battle of the Exes must end at The Dovehouse Theatre tonight.
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