The Brexit Club – Camilla Joyce
Current, Relatable and Nostalgic ~ Substance and Shadow present a tale of politics, friendships and prejudice with delightful comical overtures.
Predominantly set in Pollards Pickles factory, we see how the looming EU referendum affects various characters in the working environment and in their personal lives.
Protagonists Len Silver and Melvyn Gould are pulled in different directions by their friends and colleagues. Don Beattie bullies Len into voting a certain way in order to accept him into his friendship group; he must first become ‘one of them’. Len’s cousin Melvyn is being swayed in the opposite direction by Sid Vishnu.
Stereotypes are turned on their heads with all 4 characters being sensitively and powerfully portrayed by the 2 actors – Midge Mullin and Nathan Simpson.
Other characters are introduced through a series of audio clips and asides. These were cleverly done, although perhaps a little confusing / too many characters at the BBQ with Don and Len.
Staging was minimalist with a good use of levels throughout. Props were used on occasion along with mime, which seemed to work well and not distract from the storyline.
Plenty of great comical lines can be expected with the audience laughing aloud, including Don’s classic line: “Bananas should be bendy!”
We watch a small factory and community torn apart as a result of Brexit with common misconceptions, stereotypes and prejudices prevalent; perhaps even being the main cause of the divide. Mirroring real life where everyone seemed to have an opinion, without really knowing the full facts, as often we do not in politics. People judged others who voted a certain way, without really knowing their reasoning. Some people were too scared to vote a certain way in case of a backlash either politically or from family and friends. It certainly caused a lot of controversy – Substance and Shadow effectively encapsulate this within the piece.
The Brexit Club consists of a strong narrative; complete with warm, funny and relatable characters making it a play well worth watching. Succinct at an hour and 15 minutes, the play ends poignantly, in keeping with its theme.
Camilla Joyce ~ former Express & Echo newspaper Theatre Reviewer (Camilla Knight)
* 4 stars