The Golden F**king Years
Jack Studio Theatre
Reviewed – 19th April 2018
“makes you laugh out loud finding out why life never gets less complicated”
On the hottest April day for seventy years it felt quite fitting to be whisked away to the sunshine of the Med without even having to leave the Jack Studio Theatre – which was gratefully cooled to perfection this balmy evening.
Helen, weary and stifled (played by Deborah Maclaren), and the bemusingly irritating Gordon (played by Adrian McLoughlin) have retired to the Mediterranean. They spend their time mostly on their balcony overlooking the sea, where one reads lots of books and one drinks quite a lot gin and they both watch the world go by.
They’re comfortable. But life isn’t as idyllic as expected and their amusing conversations leave clues of growing dissatisfaction … a mix of boredom brought on by inactivity and a touch of ‘jaded old age’ start to show their differing feelings on life.
The arrival of a confident younger woman (played by Anneli Page) in town shakes them both out of their attempt to relax into old age. Both their lives alter. Are they settled or simply settling …? Sex, alcohol, a couple of dubious brownies and a lot of misbehaviour spirals humorously out of control, and brings serious repercussions!
The simple but effective set (Chris de Wilde) worked well and the lighting (Ben Jacobs) and music (from sound designer Jack Barton) were used perfectly to move the story around the claustrophobic Spanish resort expat area setting.
In the 21st Century, where people live a lot longer, feeling a lot younger, this play aims to challenge what it means to grow old gracefully and disgracefully alike. I liked the way it explored the ‘norms’ of behaviour, ‘standard thinking’, and the trap of stereotyping, as well as pondering what emphasis you ought to give to what others think of you! Three lives are exposed, three pasts and three futures, all proving you don’t need to be young to be stupid! This witty play from Adrian McLoughlin makes you laugh out loud finding out why life never gets less complicated.
Whether you’re retired yourself, planning an early escape from working life, or pretending it’s too far in the future to contemplate, this show makes you wonder what will fill your time when the nine to five comes to an end – just remember growing older may not equal growing wiser!
Reviewed by Joanna Hinson
Photography by Chris de Wilde
The Golden F**king Years
Jack Studio Theatre until 28th April
Previous Shows at Jack Studio Theatre