The UK premiere of 'COPS' by American writer Tony Tortora, failed to interest me. Billed as a play inspired by real-life events in the brutal and corrupt world of 1950's Chicago, it focuses on four cops of different age, class and race who have to grab a gangster turned state witness before the Mob do. This thin story is not sufficiently gripping and the characterisations lack the detail to engage the audience. I reached the interval thinking "not bothered by the story, don't care about any of the characters." My view had not changed by the end of the show. I'm not sure if this is weakness in writing or in direction. Andy Jordan (Director) allows the cast to amble through with little variety to the pace. It is very static. The fight/action sequences are not convincing. The performances were competent but the relationships fail to gel.
Anthony Lamble gives an impressive set and costume fit for the period. I was alarmed that the smoke/haze rose from under our seats: I thought the woman next to me was about to burst into flames!
This production lacks the tone and tension of Noir, and fails to drive the pace for comedy.