Review: Lottery wins brings short lived joy in this dark comedy at Colne Little Theatre

Colne Dramatic Society’s first play of the new season is the light (and dark) comedy, ‘Lucky Sods’ by John Godber

The cast of Lucky Sods, a dark comedy that runs until this Saturday at Colne Little Theatre
The cast of Lucky Sods, a dark comedy that runs until this Saturday at Colne Little Theatre

A master of wit and pathos, Godber’s play introduces characters that are very real.

It is the 1990s and playing the lottery has become the hobby of Jean Sod. When she and husband Morris discover they have winning numbers, emotions arise and relationships tumble into disharmony as jealousies develop and worse, marital breakdown ensues.

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Under new director, Marina Butterworth, the central cast portrays the two couples very well, and interestingly, both the staging and some of the characters are caricatured, giving the play a different edge.

John Mills has produced a colourful, creative set; two-dimensional black and white props (a bridge and backdrops) remind the audience that we are watching theatre rather than a slice of real life. This contrasts with the performance of Susan Hartley as Jean Sod, who is completely engaging and authentic from the start, she carries us with her through her joy and ending in her deep misery. We feel her emotions. She completely holds us throughout.

Darren Williams performs two roles - which are stylised and amusing in equal measure - as does Tess James, who portrays the opposite, oozing convincing, aging grumpiness one minute and relatively young gormlessness the next.

Liz Rowel’s Connie introduces a breath of fresh air, drawing morose Morris (Riz Riley) away to romantic new pastures, but like everything else in this script, the joy is to be short-lived.

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James Stovold completes the cast as the awkward and eager to please waiter.

Staging the many and changing scenes on such a small stage limits the cast’s movement and the cast handled this well, but it did mean that they were sometimes stood still for long periods and sometimes partially obscured (this may have been scripted). This is not a play for children, however, adults will find it engaging and amusing – if not hilarious at times.

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Lucky Sods ends its run at the Little Theatre this Saturday (October 9th)

Seats can be reserved on 01282 861424.