Review: Worth A Flutter

5 star rating
Laugh-out lines that zing from Michael Head's scintillating script, plus superb performances, result in an unmissable show at Islingon's Hope Theatre.
Cast of Worth a Flutter at the Hope Theatre

Clare McNamara as Helen, Michel Head as Matthew, Jack Harding as Sam and Lucy Pinder as Emma


Theatre: Hope Theatre

Closes here: Saturday 19 May 2018

Author:
Michael Head

Director:
Jonathon Carr

Cast:

Lucy Pinder - Paige, Emma

Paul Danan - Paul

Jack Harding - Sam

Clare McNamara _ Helen

Michael Head - Matt


Synopsis


In life love doesn't always run to the form guide …


4/1 Matt the gambler with a dysfunctional brain, heart and penis.


Might need more experience 9/5 F.


Paige the bookies favourite who is as shallow as she is devious, an obvious choice 20/1 Helen the outsider, a few skeletons in the closet but has experience if past doesn't haunt her 7/2 Sam suffering from a broken marriage and loss but might have enough to take the spoils, safe hands.


Worth A Flutter is a dark, hard hitting comedy that covers life, love and loss as we follow Matt and Sam as they compete for Helen's affections.


We see the dark and tragic past of four broken characters to see what has led them to this point and how they try to move forward.


Broken marriages, loss, domestic violence and a dysfunctional member.


No wonder true love never runs smoothly.


ActDrop reviews


Sally Redman

Performance date: Saturday 5 May 2018
Review star rating image for 3 stars

After falling in love with The Hope after seeing Foul Pages, I was intrigued by Worth A Flutter, a show about gambling staring a reality TV star and ex glamour model.


The show opens with gambler Matt (played by Michael Head) as he tells us how his life fell to pieces, and talks of gambling and his 'quality bird'.


Captivated by Head's performance, but not really feeling the show's message/theme early on I was, however, soon won over as the story developed to show a far deeper meaning, and by some laugh-out lines that zing from Head's script played with precision by the dumb Paige, the wonderfully self obsessed self proclaimed ladies' man Paul (Paul Danan) and Helen, the sharp tonged cafe owner (Clare McNamara).


Soon, wonderfully constructed flashbacks take place bringing the audience to fits of laughter.


The show takes a slight left turn as Matt wins over Helen for a date and we hear of the tragic death of Matt's gangster granddad and abusive parents, but the comedy soon comes back with Matt's ill-behaved penis, also played by Pinder with such class that it seems she was born for the stage.


Before we have chance to breath, we see a wonderful horse race of bad first dates, which again had the audience rolling with laughter.


Just before the climax of the first half, Helen shrugs off Matt and a new rival for Helen's affections appears (Jack Harding).


I left for the interval face-aching with laughter and intrigued to see how this new man fits in - either way I was hoping for more of the same.


More of the same was not to follow.


The second half follows Sam (Harding) as shaky, nervous alternative to Matt, who also 'makes a play' for Helen.


Sam's only friend is Martin, an obnoxious David Brent type (also played wonderfully by Head).


The pattern is the same - man makes play for Helen in cafe followed by date, however the subject matter and feeling could not be more different.


The first half was full of comic moments and wonderful one liners.


The second half was full of heart and raw emotion as we see why Sam and Helen are where they are.


I won't give away the plot, but will say Harding is fantastic and have to single out McNamara who gives one of the best performances I have ever seen - any actress, please go see McNamara's performance.


After being brought to tears twice, we have a bit more comic relief from a boxing match between Matt and Sam before the play's clever conclusion.


Hard to say what I loved most - the comedy, the astounding performances, the emotional ride?


I think Head, who has the gravitas of Michael Cane and comic timing of Ricky Gervais, comes a close second to McNamara who simply stole the show.


Lucy Pinder also needs praise for her comic versatility.


Final thought - do not miss this show.


External reviews


London Pub Theatres

5 star rating

Reviewer Heather Jeffery says ... "outrageous characters bring a tremendous sense of fun" in a "hilarious comedy".



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