Friday, 7 March 2014

Dog Days - Theatre503


BATTERSEA'S small and intimate Theatre503 has long been known for its support of new writing and its latest production is the debut work of actress Annie Hulley.
Dog Days is set in the living room of middle aged couple Cate and John. With its plates on the walls, knick knacks on the side table and faded decor, it is bland, boring and beige - not unlike their marriage which it quickly transpires is in tatters - familiarity breeding contempt has clearly manifested itself here over the years.
John, played by Jonathan Oliver, is not a likeable man and treats his wife with derision. Cate, played by Hulley, is fretful about her future and drinks on the sly to hide her sadness at the obvious end to her marriage.
Tensions are running high, not least because their house is on the market and has been for a while, with not much interest from any prospective buyers. That is until young couple Hayley and Tony rock up unannounced and invite themselves in.
Hayley (Lashana Lynch) is hilarious and definitely has the best lines in the piece. She is ditsy, pregnant and has a mouth which doesn't engage with her brain. Tony (Peter Bramhill) by comparison is controlling, cocky, arrogant and struts about in his maroon suit.
Their arrival heralds the start of some sinister events and secrets being exposed and there is clearly a sense of unease when they are in the house, making themselves at home in a rather over familiar way.
The performances from the four actors are great and it is a brilliant portrayal of lives unravelling and at only 90 minutes it is a tight script which manages to keep the tension brewing throughout until it reaches the inevitable awful end.

Dog Days is at Theatre503 above the Latchmere Pub, Battersea Park Road until Saturday, March 22. Tickets from £15. Call the box office 020 7978 7040.

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