29th September 2011
From the writer of Bouncer, Up n Under and Teechers comes this brand new comedy.
The Debt Collectors mixes money and love with the love of money, as two out of work actors fall into the world of debt recovery.
It’s a role they despise but a job they were made for, and they are desperate for cash.
But all is not what it seems in this hilarious comedy of unpaid bills, offers of sex and boozy bailiffs!
Spud and Loz are two forlorn characters, both have been in and out of theatre work more times than 'The Phantom of the Opera' has had his heart broken. Treading the boards and auditioning for scraps at the end of their acting career had taken the toll on both of them. Dealing with rejection both on and off the stage; creating the unfolding drama of life had made the duo desperate to get back on track and make some well earned cash.
The Royal is an old theatre with debts around its neck our characters are there to bring home the bacon to the piggy bank of the agency they work for. They used to perform and pull their weight entertaining to the paying public there. Coming to terms with their loss of 'stardom' and the demise of the theatre is hard for them to comprehend. Memories of the years for both of them come flooding back and we are treated to some fabulous acting with the rewinding of the time-line of their lives. From the highs and the lows the effectiveness of this play within a play was told with superb drama and seamless interaction. The first time of being the nervous door knocker to the antics of light fingered Spud was played out with great presence.
Family life has a major part in this play with Loz (William Ilkley) being on his own since the passing of his mother- some really powerful and moving scenes come to life when he is in conversation about this- and Spud (Rob Hudson) playing the cheque book dad with the never ending wanting's of his wife and semi-prodigal daughter. Twists and turns are abound as we see how they cope wonderfully with death, taking the law into their own hands, the sexual paying favours of some of their clients and the study of life from both of their perspectives.
Debt Collectors is a new start for writer and director John Godber, formally artistic director at world renown Hull Truck Theatre Company. His vision there along with his brilliant writing skills I am sure will lead to his new company- in his own name, and working out of Wakefield Theatre Royal- becoming a theatrical force to reckon with. The flair and the movement of Hudson and Ilkley danced fantastically from Godber's pages of text. It lit the room up...and what a room it was, one of the best set designs that I have ever clapped my eyes on from Pip Leckenby and Lucy Campbell. It has to be seen to be appreciated! Stuart Briner created a stirring musical accompaniment, that hit at the harshness of the subject, through to the lovableness of the performers.
Debt Collectors is a funny and warm hearted look at what is around us today with not only the small and meek amongst us; but the huge corporations facing a magnificent struggle from drowning, and the lengths that we all will go to, to stay afloat!
First class entertainment.
Debt Collectors runs until Saturday 1st October