Review: The Unfriend, Wyndham's Theatre - Frances Barber elevates every scene she is in
Review: Afterglow, Southwark Playhouse - passionate and poignant

Review: Cockfosters, The Turbine Theatre - fun and peculiar

Cockfosters The turbine theatre
Cockfosters, The Turbine Theatre January 2024

Described as a surreal comedy, Cockfosters at The Turbine Theatre is set on the Piccadilly line and centres on a man and a woman who get on at Heathrow.

Both are returning from trips abroad, and they strike up a conversation, which is surreal given the unwritten rules of tube etiquette 😉.

While travelling to Cockfosters at the other end of the line, various colourful and often outlandish passengers get on and off.

Among them are the loud American tourists in matching shirts, a loud hen do, a loud busker and a loud 'friend' of the man's (it is a surreal comedy).

Given how loud the passengers are, it wouldn't take much to flip this tube journey into the horror genre.

It's part a romantic comedy and part love letter to the underground.

Aside from the stereotypical tube passengers, it's packed full of references to the quirks of the underground, the sort of things that are never questioned but just accepted, like those mazes on the walls at the tube stations and the snippets of poetry.

At one point, there was a tube trivia quiz which garnered extra laughs when the sequined jacket-wearing quiz host put a question to an audience member who happened to work for TFL.

If you are familiar with travelling on the tube and, let's face it, who won't if they are travelling down to Battersea to see this, there is a lot you'll recognise and appreciate. And you may even come away with some new trivia to impart.

However, amid the fun and frivolity of this tube journey and the witty lines, some elements jar or are just downright odd.

There was an awkward change of tone when a homeless person gets on the tube carriage. It's not easy comedy material, and the play gets out of the corner it has created by adding a surreal twist. It felt clunky.

Towards the end, there were some songs in quick succession which were quite similar and repetitive. It felt like unnecessary padding.

You can certainly say there weren't any dull moments in Cockfosters. It is funny and peculiar, and where it is at its best is in exploring those underground quirks.

I'm giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a half stars.

Cockfosters, The Turbine Theatre

Written by Tom Woffenden and Hamish Clayton

Directed by Hamish Clayton

Cast: Amy Bianchi, Ed Bowles, Saul Boyer, Charlie Keable, Beth Lilly, Kit Lloyd and Natash Vasandani

Running time 60 minutes without an interval

Booking until 20 January, for more information and to buy tickets, visit The Turbine Theatre website.

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