Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Theatre review: The Last March
Dent is joined by Pernilla Holland in the roles of Amundsen, Scott's wife, and various supporting characters, while Sam Gibbs plays the entirety of Scott's crew, getting a lot of mileage out of the need to constantly change character. The cast are talented and enthusiastic, Gibbs in particular is winningly likeable, and when the show works it's very funny.
Its weaknesses are felt in the slapstick scenes, which feel rather under-rehearsed and lack conviction, and the team haven't quite got the hang of running jokes yet: A little gag about Scott's inability to salute properly could have recurred but doesn't, while many of the weaker gags are run into the ground to the extent I sometimes felt like I was watching Family Guy. Also, Gibbs' "walking downstairs" mime looks more like the "Single Ladies" dance, and this is never commented on. And frankly, there's no excuse for letting a perfectly good "Single Ladies" reference go by the wayside.
But for a newly-created company there's a lot of chemistry between everyone, and the more successful comic moments really work, like Gibbs' protracted attempt to serve tea in sub-zero temperatures, or Holland's "snowstorm" effect that breaks out into open aggression between her and Dent. With some of the rough edges smoothed out this could be a company to look out for. And if you sit in the front row, you might even get a biscuit.
The Last March by tinder is booking until the 4th of January at Southwark Playhouse's Little Theatre.
Running time: 1 hour straight through.