It’s well known that throughout life, various years tend to stick in the mind and bring back thoughtful associations. Now, thanks to “Good Cop Bad Cop” I can add 1972 to my list of memorable ones. Why? Well that would be telling, but believe me it is well worth going to the Leicester Square Theatre to find out.
Rather like the old advert, “Good Cop Bad Cop” does what it says on the tin, Set in the LAPD in 1996, we join two officers as they assume the titular roles to interrogate a suspected drug dealer of international proportions. Alan (Andrew Fettes) is a veteran of the force who has been lumbered with rookie Jonathan (Adam Alexander) as his new partner. Not only is Jonathan a rookie, but in fact it’s his first day on the job, and he is not just wet behind the ears, there is a veritable stream flowing there. Still he is willing to learn and after some persuasion is happy to go along with his partner’s ideas on how the interrogation of Joe (Luke Stevenson) should be conducted. Of course a comedy would not work if everything went according to plan and the ‘interrogation’ really doesn’t at all. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you have ever read Tom Sharpe’s “Wilt” then you will know how a routine questioning session can go seriously and very humorously awry. In fact, in the hands of Director Adam Jarrell, the interrogation couldn’t possibly go any more wrong than it does. In all the movies and shows I’ve ever seen where the good cop/bad cop scenario is played out, there has never been one that included the soundtrack of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ or a long sad story about a 100 year old tortoise but I think ‘The Bill’ would still be around if they had started using scenes like this.
Running at around an hour, with no interval, the time flies by and at the end I really wanted to know what happened next to our three protagonists. I also so wanted to know Joe’s back-story, and when you go and see it, you will understand why. He describes himself as a man who makes odd life choices and believe me, some of them are really way out there.
The show is in the Studio of the Leicester Square Theatre, and the limited space for the minimal set is intimate, perfect – let’s be honest what do you need in an interrogation room – and believable for the time the story takes place. In fact I remember using the same fax machine as the LAPD’s when working for a large corporation back in ‘96. The script by Oliver Dowling, Adam Jarrell and Joel Emery sparkles with wit, humour and fabulous characterisations, and is expertly delivered by the actors who, despite the farcical nature of the story, are completely believable. In fact, full credit to the three of them. It must have been very hard to keep in character with the audience so close, and so obviously enjoying watching the show, but there was never a flicker from any of them and to all intents and purposes they really were in a sealed office, just two interrogators, one suspect and a tape recorder. True professionalism at its best.
I can honestly say that from the moment I entered the theatre and sat listening to the California themed pre-show music (occasionally singing along under my breath) to the final, highly surprising revelation, I absolutely loved this hilarious, well set and acted show that has completely re-written the rules on conducting interrogations for the force. To sum the show up in one word – Fantastic!
Review by Terry Eastham
Good Cop Bad Cop Trailer
Good Cop Bad Cop
Andrew Fettes as ‘Alan’
Luke Stevenson as ‘Joe’
Adam Alexander as ‘Jonny’
Written by: Oliver Dowling, Adam Jarrell and Joel Emery
Directed by: Adam Jarrell
Production company: Primley Road (comprising of Dowling, Jarrell & Emery
Thursday 6th November 2014