REVIEW: The Morning After, Westovian Theatre, South Shields, Until June 27

Comedy play The Morning After is being staged at the Westovian Theatre, South Shields. Craig Fairbairn as Ben and Rachael Walsh as Ashley. Picture by Elliott Photography.
Comedy play The Morning After is being staged at the Westovian Theatre, South Shields. Craig Fairbairn as Ben and Rachael Walsh as Ashley. Picture by Elliott Photography.
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Have you ever woken up after a night out with no memory of what happened?

Comedy farce The Morning After, penned by East Boldon’s Rachael Walsh, imagines just that.

It follows Ben (Craig Fairbairn) and Ashley (Walsh) who wake up in each other’s arms with no idea how they got there.

To make matters worse, Ben’s girlfriend Anna (Amy Foley) shows up at his flat and Ashley is forced to pretend to be his sister so they can save face.

After getting rid of her, Ben’s parents Greg (Mark Lamb) and Sue (Patricia Whale) arrive and Ashley is talked into pretending to be Anna. Confused yet? Imagine how they feel.

With the help of Ben’s hapless brother Charlie (David John Hopper), the pair spin a never-ending web of lies – getting rather tangled in the process – to get themselves out of the rather sticky situation.

Comedy play The Morning After is being staged at the Westovian Theatre, South Shields. From left, Mark Lamb as Greg, Patricia Whale as Sue, Craig Fairbairn as Ben and Rachael Walsh as Ashley. Picture by Elliott Photography.

Comedy play The Morning After is being staged at the Westovian Theatre, South Shields. From left, Mark Lamb as Greg, Patricia Whale as Sue, Craig Fairbairn as Ben and Rachael Walsh as Ashley. Picture by Elliott Photography.

As the character’s delve further and further into their deceit, the audience is treated to a raucous but delightful comedy show.

The play, staged by Walsh’s own company The Witty Fools, shines a light on the realities of modern relationships.

Older people, who are used to the more traditional ways of courting, may find the premise a little too risqué, but it’s all in good fun and doesn’t come off as offensive.

The truth is that we’re much more likely to meet a prospective partner in a nightclub these days, but rarely would it be this much fun.

The dialogue between characters is sharp and witty and delivered brilliantly by the cast.

The dialogue between characters is sharp and witty and delivered brilliantly by the cast.

Between Hopper’s endearing stupidity to Fairbairn’s utter frustration and Foley’s highly-strung temperament to Walsh’s natural aplomb and the parents’ utter disbelief at what’s happening, each actor brings a new dimension to the show.

I chuckled non-stop as Ben and Ashley tried to awkwardly steer themselves out of their impossible situation.

Clever lighting tricks transport the audience between the night before and the morning after to clue people in on what really happened and the staging is simple but does the job perfectly.

There is some strong language and partial nudity that some may find offensive, but it’s a show that’s certain to get you in the mood for a good night out – who knows, you might even meet that special someone.

The Morning After runs until Saturday, June 27. Click here to book tickets.

Twitter: @vickinewmanjp