For the duration of this festive season the Top Secret Comedy Club in Covent Garden is turned nightly into the typical living room of two adrift twenty-something men. One of these men is Tim, a layabout slob, who is scrounging off his best friend and flat mate, the rather more successful but exceptionally self righteous David. It’s Christmas Day but you wouldn’t think so. The only thing that gives it away is the incessant carol singers who persevere at the door.
The unlucky pair have forsworn Christmas and are rather miserably spending the day together bickering and snapping – the ‘C’ word is forbidden. A knock on the door heralds not a visitation from David’s ex girlfriend (who he rather naively believes might pop over for the dinner he’s neurotically prepping in the kitchen) but a succession of dubious characters whose intentions are not in the slightest bit Christmassy. The entertainment is largely provided by these two crooks – Alice Coles playing Mary and James Unworth as Clive who rouse chuckles from the audience. It’s a British sitcom and a Christmas film rolled into one; scatalogical humour, a chase scene and a moral message worthy of A Christmas Carol are the holy trinity of This Is Not A Christmas Play.
The premise of this Encompass production is to create a farcical comedy which displays real human emotion and response, and it’s very easy to identify with poor old Tim and David throughout their nightmarish adventure. It’s a big credit to the directing team of Jonathan Woodhouse and Rachael Owens who have accomplished something original to see. If Christmas good cheer is making you nauseated and wrapping Secret Santa gifts, necking mulled wine and gobbling mince pies is a little too much, see this show for some much needed Yuletide relief.
Review by Annemarie Hiscott
The world premiere of This is Not a Christmas Play comes to the Top Secret Comedy Club, Drury Lane for a limited four week festive season from 9 December 2014. A farcical tribute to the festive season without shoving eggnog down your throat, this is the ultimate alternative Christmas story!
“Home invasion, the Virgin Mary and Chinese food. The Holy Trinity of Christmas.”
It’s Christmas Day, but David refuses to acknowledge it. Along with his best friend and professional layabout Tim he is on a mission to win his ex-girlfriend back, but will she even show-up? As an amusing assortment of strange characters turn up at their door, the pair soon discovers that turkey isn’t the only thing on the menu…
This is Not a Christmas Play is a story about friendship on the most famous day of the year but without all the clichés of the Christmas season. Funny and heartfelt, the play takes us through a few hours in the life of one stressed individual and his well-meaning friend as Christmas is forced upon them in more ways than one!
Top Secret Comedy Club, Covent Garden
170a Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PD
9th December to 4th January 2015
Tuesdays – Sundays
6.30pm doors – 6.45pm start
Saturday performance @ 3pm
NO performances: Saturday evenings, Mondays, 24 – 29 December, 1 January
Monday 15th December 2014