Deborah Mulhall's hilarious comedy, Gentlemen Incorporated, showing at Marloo Theatre, Greenmount, will have you chuckling, giggling and then laughing out loud. Mulhall skillfully explores the day to day running of a male escort agency, with highly entertaining consequences. It is well directed by Hayley Derwort of Darlington Theatre Players and is running until 11th March 2017.
Marloo Theatre is an intimate venue providing just the right atmosphere for this production. The bright lighting assured the mood wasn't dark, dingy or seedy, which was important considering the subject matter.
The staging was clean, crisp and naturalistic. It was well built, looked stunning and everything used had significance. The front door, I am convinced, was a real front door from someone's house and the canvas on the wall suggested 'gorgeous male model' not 'sleazy male hustler'. I particularly liked the stage shape; the main stage was Damien/George's apartment and to the right in front of the main stage, was the girl's office. It added interest to move your line of sight to watch the office scenes.
Owen Davies plays Damien, one of the male escorts, in one of his first speaking roles. He plays a funny and believable Damien and provides the audience with 100% entertainment with the added bonus of the scenes where his wardrobe was very scarce! I will not elaborate on this, you will have to see the production yourself to find out!
Damien (who has an alias George) has a typical male friendship with his friend Marcus, played by Jake Dennis. Dennis certainly has stage presence, almost certainly gained from his stage and TV career to date and willingness to please his audience.
Brittany Isaiah plays the very likeable and easy to identify with Isabelle. Isaiah is absolutely worthy of the Best Actress award she won at the Hill's Festival in 2014. She played Isabelle just right, ticking all the boxes. Her 'drunk' scene was just brilliant.
Isabell's boss, Marion, is played by Alyssa Burton who has a list of plays and musicals on her CV. Once again the character is played absolutely as it should have been with Burton creating 'tough office boss' with intrigue and sassiness. Never judge a book by its cover!
Marsha Bennett is just fabulous as Marcus's mother. She gave such a plausible performance in her theatrical debut. Her voice was just as you would expect from a mother giving more credibility to her character.
My favourite scene involved Bennett, Dennis and Davies which left the audience wide-eyed, mouths gaping and gasps. You knew the crescendo was coming and the build up was just brilliant. Hats off to Derwort who has seamlessly managed to draw the talent and craftsmanship out of each actor and to ensure lines were delivered realistically, which in turn had the desired effect on the audience at the right times. Equally, the music chosen was apt and befitting; Let's Talk about Sex was the song that stayed in my head.
Despite the performance lasting two and a half hours (including the interval), I was left wanting more. When you see it, you will understand where I am coming from. It wasn't just good, it was outstanding in every way and if you are wondering if you should give this production a few hours of your time and a few of your hard earned dollars, my answer is a resounding yes! It made me laugh and sparked a thought process which only live theatre with like-minded people can do.
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