Swimming With Sharks – Miller Centre Theatre, Caterham – Review

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All I knew about this play was that it, a) contains a LOT of swearing and b) has a torture scene in it. So as I went off to see it tonight, I thought that perhaps it wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but I’m keen to support my local theatre and I will declare now I know most of the cast as I acted with them in A Few Good Men last year.

What surprised me most was I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this play. I wasn’t expecting it to be so humorous and the tension builds brilliantly to a wicked twist at the end.

Peter Whittle the Director certainly made the right amount of cuts with regards the “bad” language, but without it seeming like these folks didn’t swear, they certainly did, as indeed I’m sure they do in the offices of Hollywood (and in fact most offices – usually at the IT department I find). The torture scene was also superbly well done, not too gratuitous but likewise not wince free, and the gun shots certainly made most of us jump!

Chester Stern is a gem of an actor within the Miller Centre Players (the recipient of the 2010 Miller Centre Theatre Actor of the Year Award, which I was pleased to see was displayed in Buddy’s office) and I knew I’d enjoy his performance. He didn’t disappoint. Playing Buddy perfectly, he’s (Buddy not Chester) such a nasty piece of work, yet he toys not just with the characters emotions but the audiences too, in the torture scene as I started feeling sorry for this “boss from hell”.

 

Gerard Kelly as Guy and Chester Stern as Buddy

 

Gerard Kelly gave a wide-eyed and innocent portrayal of Guy, who starts to climb the ladder and become more like the boss he despises. Not an easy journey to show, but Gerard did it admirably.

Sharron Cox, played the love interest and key foil to both Guy and Buddy. She too, took us on a journey and I was never sure who she was screwing both literally and figuratively until the plays end.

The rest of the cast gave suitable back up to the above main three and helped to create this weird world of Hollywood in sleepy little Caterham.

 

The bewitching Mitzy played by Becky Gordon

 

It is on until this Saturday (15th Jan) and I really do recommend it. It’s great going to the theatre and being surprised and I really thought my review for this would be “Great Cast, Bad Play”, I’m pleased to say it’s not, it is “GREAT CAST, GREAT PLAY.”

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