An edited version of this review appeared in MyVillage.com…
Nick Gill’s tongue-in-cheek exposé of prejudices vacillates between light and dark to provide a singular examination of middle-class stereotypes. Gill joyously typecasts the Jones family: housewife Jane, businessman James and their two kids John and Jenny. He leans heavily on caricatures. Mrs Jones is shrilly suburban and terrified of “ethnics”, James is a bombastic arms-dealer, Jenny is slutty and Jeff is studious.
The play, part of the 2009 annual staged readings at the Finborough now in full production, kicks-off with an uproariously smug display of prejudices from the Jones who are confident of superiority in all matters of money and race.
The stage is set for the arrival of Jenny’s new boyfriend Kwesi. Hailing from Swindon but of Ghanaian roots the inevitable “impossible accent” jokes ensue. However it is Jenny, sexually frustrated by Kwesi’s religious beliefs and the family’s move to the war torn Middle-East that truly thicken this storyline. Questions of capitalism, morality and wealth-disparity far outweigh the”Little Britain” middle-class banter.
It is a provocative play and the cast are exemplary. Most notable, and both in dual roles, are Louise Collins as Jenny and her brother’s girlfriend and Jotham Annan playing Kwesi and the policeman. Collins is transformed in the roles and within her key character – she is a remarkable presence. David Verrey as James is equally indispensible – all blustering swagger and excellent pacing he keeps the action rolling.
The piece is only let down by the superfluous incestuous relationship adding nothing while detracting from the overall production. Ultimately this dark and comically surreal production shows excellent promise though you may well not want to see your reflection in the mirror of these teeth.
Mirror Teeth @Finborough Theatre
Until 30 July 2011