More than ‘One For The Road’

The Abbey Theatre's new play One For the Road with cast Jim Shaw, Alan Christison, Brenda Reid and Moira Steven.
The Abbey Theatre's new play One For the Road with cast Jim Shaw, Alan Christison, Brenda Reid and Moira Steven.

The latest offering from the Arbroath’s Abbey Theatre Club is a riotous romp through the dirty underbelly that is modern suburbia.

‘One For The Road’ by Willy Russell, he of ‘Shirley Valentine’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ fame, is an hilarious tale of suburban stagnation and minor madness in the 1980s.

As the production is still running we do not wish to give away too much, but it revolves around Dennis and his need to escape and recapture the dreams of his youth.

Alan Christison was a delight as the downtrodden and slightly manic protagonist Dennis Cain.

He plays the depressed and off-the-wall Dennis to a tee. His comic diatribes against modern living are delivered with vigour. Our favourite was ‘Tupperware Man’, which apparently was nearly the title of the play at one point.

Moira Steven as Dennis’s long-suffering wife Pauline is a great foil for the increasing madness and acts as a mirror to one or two of our own social ills.

Her revelation at the end of the play triggers a very funny set-piece which had the audience roaring with laughter.

Roger Fuller, played by Jim Shaw, makes a great ‘Frenemy’, someone Dennis loathes but grew up with and now socialises a lot with because it is ‘expected’.

He also adds a lot of depth to an at times unlikable character who is himself quite downtrodden.

Roger’s wife Jane, played by Brenda Reid, is a social bully and snob but as the play progresses it becomes clear that this is partly as the result of the role she is expected to play by society.

The set designers should be proud of their efforts creating a fresh layout and the wardrobe department have done well to set the characters apart with their clothing.

Director Alan Christison and producer Frank Gilbert should be rightly proud of their show which will run until Saturday, October 26, with tickets available by calling 01241 872609.