Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Waiting For Gateaux -Review- The Customs House, South Shields.

Waiting For Gateaux,
The Customs House,
South Shields.
Wednesday 10th June 2015.

I am no stranger to the work of Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood having seen most of their shows. I am also no stranger to Waiting for Gateaux having seen it when it was first staged at The Customs House in 2005. Back then I loved the show. That said this is a new production company and new cast so I went into the theatre with an open mind.

Waiting for Gateaux tells the story of Mo-tivators health and fitness club. Run by Maureen (Philippa Lyall) from a small hall in the middle of nowhere that only attracts clientele who have nothing better to do.
Jackie (Laura Lonsdale) comes while her husband stock takes late at his green grocers and she’s started to bring her young sister Whitney (Sarah Boulter) or Raven as she likes to be known, along to keep her out of trouble. Donald (Paul Dunn) has been a long standing member and seems to be the only one to actually have lost weight - 12 stone so far! However he is clearly motivated by his love for Maureen, if only he could tell her how he feels!
Then there is Sophie (Christina Berriman Dawson), a researcher for a reality TV programme.  Sophie appears to check out the club but when a blizzard hits it brings with it all manner of revelations and madcap comedy ensues.
The entire story of Waiting for Gateaux takes place in the hall of Mo-tivators which potentially could serve as a very mundane setting for an entire show, however under the direction of Gareth Hunter this isn’t the case. With clever choreography, great music choices and simple lighting effects the passage of time becomes as entertaining as the show itself.
Gateaux has some hilarious one-liners and some really old jokes that you know the punch line before it’s delivered, but it’s the actors delivery of these jokes that makes these characters believable. This is essential to the success of Waiting for Gateaux. It would have been very easy for this to be a ridiculous farce with over-the-top caricatures. However the performances of this ensemble cast help keep the show grounded. I believed every single character and the situations they were in. It would be difficult to single out any of the actors as being the strongest as what was really lovely was how well they all worked together.
Waiting for Gateaux won’t change your life but what it will do is thoroughly entertain you, make you laugh and have you leaving the theatre with a smile on your face. Well worth the ticket price.

Written by Robert Stevens

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