The Shallow End

Wednesday, 5 March, 1997

This world premiere of Doug Lucie's new play is set behind the scenes of a corporate wedding reception of a media baron's daughter. A new editor of a newspaper who's circulation has been dropping decides to get rid of a lot of the stale, old guard and replace them with young and refreshing talent, in a bid to boost readership. The story follows the plight and dilemma's facing the old boys as they are being sacked one by one.

Almost from the start the play is riddled with foul language and explicit sexual talk which rambled on quite a while, which to be fair to the Royal Court they did warn you it was unsuitable for children!

This story had the potential to be a great one, but frankly I, and I'm sure many others in the half empty auditorium were getting bored! The writing by Doug Lucie is just not good enough, it lacked depth and pace, even though there are many scenes as one by one the old boys got sacked. Lucie could only really get laughter and attention from using foul language or scenes of a sexual nature.

What a pity the play is poor, when the acting by all was superb. Particularly by Tony Doyle who plays 'Kirk', the man who's job it was to sack the men and Nicholas Day who plays 'Drummond', his side kick. Julie Ford also pulled off a fine performance as 'Slater'. She was very convincing as a tarty, sexual flirter. However, they could not save this play, which I doubt we will see on the West End again.

(Darren Dalglish)

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