Review of Octopus Soup - Darlington Hippodrome
By Andrew Harrison - Arts critic
OCTOPUS Soup is the World Premiere of a brand-new British farce by Jack Milner and Mark Stevenson. It opens with Seymour Mace, Nick Hancock, an insurance consultant as he is preparing himself for the most important phone call of his life as he is about to pitch an idea to Virginia Whale, Gillian Bevan, the boss of G. I. T. He is soon interrupted by the worst burglar ever Marvin Hayes, Paul Bradley. Seymore then finds himself in ever increasing unbelievable situations with his incredibly over-the-top actress wife – Gloria Bignall, Carolyn Backhouse and Marvin’s underworld boss Alan, Eric Richard. Then of course you can’t forget the star of the show – the octopus.
There are many stand out moments in the production, Paul Bradley steals the show in the opening scene as the hapless burglar and Gloria Bignall hams it up perfectly, but it is when the entire cast are together when the action quickens and the farce comes alive. However, laugh a minute this farce isn’t, though at times it has a sense of pace, it then comes to an abrupt halt. The plot is well constructed and as this production is in its early days I for one hope to see it again as I am sure it will develop and progress over time.
Runs at Darlington Hippodrome until Saturday 1st March