WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE: Park Theatre
WHEN: 9/6, press night 11/6, runs to 7/7/18
RUN TIME: 2 hours 10 minutes (with 20 minute interval)
Janie Dee starred in our favourite revival of last year, Follies, which also saw her shortlisted for monstas for Best Actress and Performance Of A Song and she returns to it at the National Theatre early next year.
- Read on for reasons including why Dee is one of our finest actresses
Here she plays 50-something celebrity chef Caroline Mortimer who seemingly has the perfect life but as we peek into the plush kitchen of her north London home we meet her much older husband, son with a secret he wants to impart and handyman who’s proved his worth in her home for the last 4 months.
Throw in a PA with a drugs habit, tragic backstory and hots for the handyman plus a visitor who may not be quite who she seems and Torben Betts’ farce doesn’t take long to switch up the gears into something fast-moving and often funny.
Dee doesn’t sing here but she gets more drunk as the Daily Mail gets in touch about pictures her falling over drunk on a night out emerge, her husband struggles with depression and her son wants to come clean to him about the heartbreak he is suffering.
A key line belongs to son Leo (a fine performance from Jack Archer) who observes:’Isn’t monogamy a small price to pay for the absolute honour of completely knowing and completely loving just one human being? For a whole lifetime?’
Genevieve Gaunt is especially funny as the PA who’s struggling to keep her own life together let alone Caroline’s and we laughed long and hard with Patrick Ryecart’s golf-playing husband who worries life is passing him by.
Charlie Brooks is convincing as a troubled mystery visitor to the house and provides an interesting counterpoint to Dee, who is very much the star of this piece and succeeds in holding everything together in the way that only one of our finest actresses can.
Monogamy is laugh-out-loud funny has the feel of an 80s family-based sitcom although its preoccupations are very much 2018.