The Waiting Game

The Kings Head is, at best, a terrific venue and stages a refreshingly eclectic selection of plays. Jonnie Fielding's The Waiting Game enjoyed a successful run recently at The Courtyard theatre before transferring here, directed by the author. It's very much a case of 'what if' on this occasion- there are moments here that do promise satisfaction but rather like the play's motley bunch of would-be criminals who botch an easy job, the script- and performances- just miss their target, needing sharper writing and better timing to succeed.

Four very different young men given the Beatle pseudonyms of John, Paul, George and Ringo sit in an apparently derelict flat waiting to spring into action at a designated hour. Flaws in their nefarious plan soon emerge as do the cracks in their uneasy and fragile alliance. Carefully watched by their sharp-tongued boss Brian, they bicker and banter aimlessly, the discovery of a dead rabbit giving temporary respite from their escalating anxiety and opening up a whole host of questions about the flat's former resident.

There are a few nice touches here: an endearing performance from Stephen Sobal's hapless Ringo, corny rabbit references, Brian's appalling jokes and the manifest incompetence of the entire group as they lurch from one hopeless scenario to another, but far more pace and panache is needed to flesh out a potentially entertaining comedy.

(Amanda Hodges)

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