Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Director: Laura Norman
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
The Public Reviews Rating:
Brothers Anthony and Damian have lost their mother, a fact Anthony exploits at every opportunity. While Anthony see’s the money making potential, younger sibling Damian has a more spiritual approach, holding conversations with a steady stream of Saints.
Damian has philanthropic aims for their sudden windfall but Anthony has more material plans. Can the brothers keep to their plan and can they keep their wealth secret from their father?
It’s an ambitious piece for the young performers of the New Wolsey Theatre’s Youth Theatre but the 34-strong company perform the piece with total conviction.
Frank Cottrell Boyce’s script gives ample opportunity for the company to create vivid characters and it’s an opportunity the group seizes with both hands. The absurdity of the situation is played just the right side of excess and the comedy is allowed to build naturally from the script and characters.
Anchoring the piece are two strong central performances from Marcus Poore and Harry Longbottom as the brothers, Longbottom with a nice streak of rebellion countering Poore’s burgeoning religious mania. There are, though, fine cameos throughout from the ensemble. Finn Rudkin giving us a tipsy St Nicholas, Tom Chamberlain and Charlie Cotterill offering slightly disturbing Mormons, and Mae Munuo a send up of the classic Eurovision presenter.
Laura Norman’s direction keeps the pace fast and frantic and Rob Salmon’s packing crate set proves to be a versatile playground for the company.
If there is a fault with the production it lies in the script itself. Adapted from his own screenplay and novel, though set in Widnes, it somehow feels it belongs more in Ireland – the plotline about the conversion to the Euro and the focus on Catholic Saints giving a feel of the Emerald Isle rather than rural Yorkshire.
Put aside that sense of geographical dislocation, though, and there’s much to enjoy here. As the economic climate makes us all look at every pound in our pocket, can we really say we wouldn’t give into temptation to spend a million pounds that just landed at our feet?
Runs until 27 October
Photo: Mike Kwasniak
Millions - New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich,
Tags: Charlie Cotterill, Finn Rudkin, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Harry Longbottom, Ipswich, Laura Norman, Mae Munuo, Marcus Poore, Millions, New Wolsey Studio, New Wolsey Theatre Youth Theatre, Rob Salmon, Tom Chamberlain