The Gin Chronicles At Sea ****

Theatre

artSpace@StMarks

venue 125

18.30 (run ends 19th Aug, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays ONLY)

Another spiffing adventure with those two amateur detectives, John Jobling and his sprightly housemaid, Doris Golightly.  Ably assisted by a cast of thousands, our two heroes risk their lives in service of King and country [this is 1947] to ensure that the recipe for the world’s best gin, sunk 120 fathoms deep in the middle of the Atlantic to keep it safe from Hitler, does not fall into the wrong hands but is returned safe to dear old Blighty.

 

The Misfits of London are masters of the radio play format, swapping identities and even clothes in the twinkling of an eye to portray the multiplicity of characters who become embroiled in the drama, with staggering revelations of duplicity and greed bringing gasps of horror from the audience when Doris the housemaid accuses the villains and the plot is revealed and FOILED!

 

It’s another triumph for the Misfits – four exceptionally talented actors, ably assisted by their sound effects person who also plays the part of the exceptionally outspoken parrot  – who knew that the sound of a face slap could be created with a pair of gloves and a pointed cabbage?. Their facility with voices, accents and attitudes makes each character instantly recognisable and enhances the entertainment the [admittedly deliberately creaky] script provides.  I was particularly smitten with housemaid Doris’ transformation into gum-chewing wisecracking gangster’s moll Gloria, but everyone was equally worthy of praise.

 

Admittedly, being given a shot of Edinburgh gin topped up with Fentiman’s delicious botanical beverage – in this case, pink grapefruit tonic – enhanced the audience’s appreciation of the delightfully silly, superbly executed performance.  If you haven’t seen them before, beat a path to their door!  If you have, come back again secure in the knowledge that you will be treated to another gorgeous piece of tomfoolery that will send you out into the evening sunshine with a broad smile on your face.

 Mary Woodward