UKTW - 25 years online
CORONAVIRUS: All UK venues closed on 16th March 2020, restrictions were lifted on 19th July 2021. Please note that iUKTDb archive listings between March 2020 and July 2021 may not be accurate as we did not receive details of all rescheduled and cancelled shows.

Tommy on Top

4
Seen at Above the Stag
By Derek

Chris Woodley has written a boisterous farce with laughs aplenty. Directed by Bryan Hodgson, the cast get to play it to the hilt, and work humour out of anything and everything. There’s even a laugh from the lighting.

Tommy (Alex Hulme) and George (Lucas Livesey) are in a secret relationship – Tommy feels his Hollywood star status would disintegrate if he was revealed as gay. George continues to support him in the shadows and yearns for recognition. Their partnership is delicately painted but with plenty of laughs. Hulme is the pivot around whom all the madness accrues. Livesey gets to offer an excellent cod Irish cameo.

Megan Armstrong, as Tommy’s sister Molly, blows in with vigour and dominates her scenes, slightly, permanently part-drunk: constantly on the verge of losing it, but turning every mishap into a big laugh. She shares the heavy comedy lifting with Chris Lane as Eddie. They really are ridiculously over the top, but give the play its drive. There is some excellent physical comedy, mainly at Chris Lane’s expense and his riding the punches is as expert as his camp delivery. Bridgette Amofah is Judy, a neat performance of ice-cold bitchiness. Kiki is Becky Sanneh who makes the most of her short time on stage. Their separate arrivals bring the threat to the story which allows the others to indulge in comedy exuberance.

A beautiful, luxurious set designed by David Shields is complemented by lighting from Joseph Ed Thomas. Witty sound from Paul Gavin completes a quality technical production.

The actors frequently ask each other “Too much?”

It usually is, but here “too much” is just what we want. With a ludicrous twist to get them out of the carefully contrived problems, this show delivers big-time laughs out of an outrageous situation. Closeted Hollywood actors take note!

Derek Benfield


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