Review: Invincible at the Lichfield Garrick

Writer: Torben Betts

Director: Stephen Darcy

This fresh punchy comedy by upcoming playwright Torben Betts oozes with satirical humour and dark undertones.

Emily and Oliver played by Emily Bowker and Alastair Whatley are a young well educated and cultured couple moving on to pastures new up north, out of necessity to make their household budget work out during the recession. Their neighbours Dawn and Alan played by Elizabeth Boag and Graeme Brookes are a polar opposite couple, working class and used to life outside the M25. Things start off well when Emily and Oliver play hosts for the evening to meet their neighbours but it doesn’t take long for politics and views on current affairs such as the Iraq war to bring the evening to a dramatic end.

Betts’ script is political commentary at it’s finest and even with the passing of the financial crash, it is still incredibly relevant today. The talk of terrorism is particularly poignant after the horrific events in Westminster earlier on this week. As the play progresses Betts goes deeper into the characters and shares the cracks within each of the couples’ relationships; comparing and contrasting just how different yet similar the both couples are

The Characterisation work by the cast is exceptional, each one able to work within the realism of the piece to create strong relatable people. Boag’s portrayal of Dawn, a working class woman who wants to further develop herself, cracking under the pressure of her Son fighting in the war is heartbreaking. Similarly, Brookes creates a footie-loving family man who wants the best out life surrounded by his family including his beloved Cat, Vince. Both Bowker and Whatley work well with each other too, showing a loving couple who are starting to show the pressures of their lives not being as perfect as they try to portray.

Invincible is funny in all the right places and engages from the start. From the funny insights of the characters through their entrance music to the gripping arguments, the emotions will easily creep up on you. One minute there can be tears of joy and the next tears of sadness. Betts’ script with the direction by Stephen Darcy creates an intimate portrayal of two opposite families who just want the best for themselves in a climate where people from every social class are having to adapt and change to make ends meat.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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