Monday, 6 January 2014

'The Duck House' Vaudeville Theatre ****

We all have had our opinions on the shocking events of the 2009 expenses scandal, where politicians would purchase items such as a glitter toilet seat, manure, hanging baskets etc. and some words claimed that money back out of the UK taxpayer’s pocket. So when Dan Patterson and Colin Swash decided to write a comic play about this event, you would have thought it would be an utter disappointment. However, it's the total opposite as it is a production that's full of comic genius and wonderful acting performances. The play is about this disloyal Labour MP, Robert Houston, who is incredibly desperate to save his seat in parliament that he resorts to the ultimate betrayal by moving to the Conservative party. As well as his fellow politicians he has been claiming expenses, which the Tories find woeful so he tries to cover up his dastardly deeds. One, in suggesting that is his own wife, Felicity is his secretary and two, he his young son, Seb, who's at University's is his technical advisor. The play is full of hilarious dialogue and the timing is comedy gold. The setting from a traditional family home to a derelict London flat is a clear reminder of who you can trust within politics. The acting is brilliant here as they convey the realisation of how cunningly lacklustre politicians were throughout this horrendous situation. Ben Miller as the lead role, Robert Houston MP provides an amazing comic through comprehensive timing in the delivery of one-liners and slapstick comedy. Nancy Carroll performs the MPs wife, Felicity to an eclectic standard of finish that makes you understand the role a politician wife plays in their career. Debbie Chazen is outstanding as the illegally employed housemaid Ludmilla. James Musgrave is excellent as the MP's troubled son, Seb and former X Factor star, Diana Vickers is wonderful as Seb's fiancĂ© Holly. The direction by Terry Johnson is phenomenal as he has captured quite controversially a disgusting scandal and presents it with such comic flare and precision that makes it a well-deserved success of a farce. The set and costume design by Lez Brotherston was of a sound level of professionalism but some of the textures thought of wasn't as beautiful as you would expect from a West End show. With all of this considered it a play full of delight. Purchase tickets if you can.

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