REVIEW Monopoleyes at Hope Mill Theatre
Thursday 22nd December 2016 13:24 Entertainment Film Reviews Posted by Adam Higgins

Stolen Thread Productions presented a new play Monopoleyes at various venues including Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester.

This disturbing dark comedy was written and also co-directed by accomplished actor Will Travis, best known for his role as Dick Lampard in Where the Heart is, Coronation Street and more recently Ibsen’s Ghosts at Home Theatre.

Inspired by the work of Dario Fo and the current political and social climate, Monopoleyes explored the story of Joe Bloggs in this game of power and fate at the roll of a dice.

The production was based around the game of Monopoly, featuring characters from the popular traditional board game, but with a twist of unconventionality.

It was also juxtaposed with a domestic situation about the struggling family of unemployed Joe Bloggs, snared into the web of Monopoleyes, under the illusion that this could be the answer to his monetary problems.

Roller played by Verity Henry was captivating as she took command of the game, controlling the living pieces in the game.

Joe Bloggs (Steve Cooper) gave a very naturalistic performance and it was a clever concept to bring him from the audience to become a pawn in this menacing metaphorical game of monopoly.

The style of this piece was similar to the humour and parody of The Theatre of the Grotesque/ Theatre of the Absurd with socio-political themes tossed by the dice including a reality TV show, genetically modifi ed crops, martial law and an Illuminati infl uence of New World Order.

The Hatter (Susan McCardle) was excellent in the role and provided humour to the piece. Nathan Morris (Boat/Smith) played two very contrasting roles and delivered a strong performance. The production was also co-directed by Paul Brannigan and produced by Elise Williamson.

Elise also played the character of daughter Charity and her performance was sensitively and emotionally charged. Helen Kay (Amy Bloggs) also gave a natural and emotional performance.

The remaining cast were excellent in their roles, including Martin Alcock (Cannon), Dominic Grove (Scottie), Zach Lee (Boot), Chris Brett (Iron) and Joe Parker (Andrew Bloggs).

The set was skilfully designed by Nick Sayers who created a graffiti scene that monopolised the interesting theatre space. This sinister political allegory explored the “Trump Card” of power, control, the gate keepers of fate and the repercussions along the way.

It will be interesting to see what will be next from Stolen Thread Productions. For more information about the theatre company please visit their website http://stolenthread.co.uk/.

 

Review by Denise Evans

 

Main picture:

Inspired: Will Travis takes everyone’s favourite board game to a new level