Tag Archives: Rebecca Todd

Dom - the Play

Dom – The Play


The Other Palace

DOM – THE PLAY at The Other Palace


Dom - the Play

“a delightfully fresh and hilarious insight into the man who thinks the civil service is an “idea for history books””


Political satire is nothing new. Wherever organised government has existed it has always been inevitable. From Aristophanes to Dante to Shakespeare, and beyond. In some parts of the globe, it can lead to arrest, and worse. Thankfully not here (for now at least). Our small screens are full of it. Newspaper cartoonists are experts at it and literature is awash with it. And, of course, theatre cannot resist it.

Neil Green’s new comedy, “DOM the play”, opens on such a strong note that we wonder where it can go from here and whether it can sustain the level of sharp observation and comedy for the next two hours. The fact that it can is not just testament to the writing, but also to the performances of the four actors who occupy the stage at the Other Palace, mere meters away from where the real-life action takes place. But Green does have an advantage: the past few years have offered up some pretty rich pickings.

“DOM the play” is not just all about Dominic Cummings. Obviously, he is the main man, but co-star Boris Johnson tries to bumble his way into the spotlight, casting his dubious and ridiculous shadow over various allies and opponents. Yet it is Cummings who comes out on top. Art imitating life? You decide.

Here’s a competition. If you were given a list of quotations, would you be able to tell which are fact and which came from the writer’s keen imagination?

Chris Porter is Dominic Cummings. Outspoken and confidant he unashamedly gives us his views and versions of events, shining a light on the Brexit shenanigans, Barnard Castle, Covid, and Boris. Porter gives a quite simply stunning performance. Tracing the journey from Boris Johnson’s key confidant to worst enemy, he portrays an impossible character, but achieves the impossible feat of making him likeable (note – any references to the real-life Dominic Cummings are objective observation – based purely on the UK media’s impartial representation of him – and not a personal opinion at all).

The show offers a delightfully fresh and hilarious insight into the man who thinks the civil service is an “idea for history books” (Cummings). The man who proclaims, “I’m not a genius – everyone else is a dick” (Green). The Barnard Castle is glossed over and brushed aside. Durham Constabulary took no action over the trip, so what’s the big deal? The “£350m million a week for the NHS” he invented was discredited. So? And Brexit? The Foreign Office couldn’t negotiate themselves “out of a paper bag” (Cummings or Green – you decide. See what I mean?)

Tim Hudson, as Boris Johnson, is equally delightful. Accusations of caricature are irrelevant when portraying an already larger than life caricature. The beauty of the performances stem from the balance of scorn and affection, and the sheer humour. Some sensitive and contentious issues are addressed, but we never forget that this is entertainment. And the joy we feel from the cast members is infectious. Rebecca Todd and David Mildon, between them, appear as Cummings’ friends and foes (mainly the latter) including David Cameron, Nicola Sturgeon, Nigel Farage, Tony Blair, John Prescott, Angela Markel, Prince Andrew, Theresa May, among others. Todd and Mildon complete the quartet with an acute eye for the mannerisms and accents. Without any costume change they switch characters seamlessly and convincingly, eschewing impersonation for realism.

Michael Kingsbury’s fast paced direction propels the action without a dip. There is barely a pause for the frequent laughter to die down. The jokes are as remorseless and shameless as the characters are unrepentant. The comedy derives from its honesty. It is only when we get home that the unsettling reality seeps in. It’s funny on stage – but the carnival of buffoons exists in real life. When Cummings backed up Johnson over the post-Brexit deal for Northern Ireland, he stated that Boris hadn’t lied in the election campaign because he “never had a scoobydoo what the deal he signed meant in the first place”. That’s not Green’s script. It’s verbatim.

Art imitating life? Not quite. The characters might not be remembered so favourably, but “DOM the play” will surely be recalled as a triumph.


Reviewed on 22nd February 2023

by Jonathan Evans


Recently reviewed at this venue:


Millennials | ★★★ | July 2022
Glory Ride | ★★★ | November 2022
Ghosted – Another F**king Christmas Carol | ★★★★★ | December 2022

Click here to read all our latest reviews


This Island’s Mine

King’s Head Theatre

This Island's Mine

This Island’s Mine

King’s Head Theatre

Reviewed – 17th May 2019



“Constantly on the move, they change their characters as quickly as they move around and into the Chinese box like set”


What do you do when your country’s politicians take a backwards step and pass something like Section 28 as Britain did in 1988? You take a heartwarming, poetic drama like This Island’s Mine, and produce it for the iconic Gay Sweatshop. Philip Osment’s mostly uplifting drama, filled with positive affirmations of gay life, was a revelation for audiences then and deservedly so. It’s a treat to see the Ardent Theatre Company, under the skilful direction of Philip Wilson, revive it in 2019.

This Island’s Mine — the title taken from Shakespeare’s Tempest, the words spoken by Caliban — follows the stories of a disparate group of people who, for one compelling reason or another, wash up, or are washed up, on the shores of not so swinging London. It is the 1980s after all. There are eighteen characters (including the cat, Vladimir) and in this production, they are seamlessly performed by a talented ensemble cast of seven. Every audience member will have their favorite characters, but the play begins and ends with Connor Bannister’s sweet and eager Luke. Luke is a seventeen year old growing up in an economically devastated north, knowing he is gay, but not knowing how to tell his friends and family.

Osment’s play gives the actors plenty to do. Constantly on the move, they change their characters as quickly as they move around and into the Chinese box like set (design by Philip Wilson) that opens enchantingly to show interior scenes of tender intimacy. Whether it’s Luke’s Uncle Martin, played with just the right amount of world weary charm by Theo Fraser Steele, or watching Tom Ross-Williams shift effortlessly between Londoner Mark and northerner Frank, or Rebecca Todd slip from American Marianne to Shakespeare’s Miranda, we are drawn to these characters and their struggles.

Corey Montague-Sholay impresses with his sensitive but steely Selwyn, a black gay actor who grows up thinking he “was the only one/Who’d been letting the side down.” On top of that, he hilariously shape-shifts into Dave, the ten year old son of Marianne’s lover, Debbie. Rachel Summers takes on four roles, an incredible range of female (and male) characters including a North Carolina African-American and a refugee Russian princess, and then there is the always marvellous Jane Bertish holding the audience spellbound whether she is Miss Rosenblum, struggling to survive after fleeing Nazi Austria, or Vladimir, Princess Irina’s indulged and equally aristocratic cat.

This Island’s Mine at the King’s Head Theatre is a triumph. See it if you can.


Reviewed by Dominica Plummer

Photography by Mark Douet


This Island’s Mine

King’s Head Theatre until 8th June


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Momma Golda | ★★★ | November 2018
The Crumple Zone | ★★ | November 2018
Outlying Islands | ★★★★ | January 2019
Carmen | ★★★★ | February 2019
Timpson: The Musical | ★★★ | February 2019
The Crown Dual | ★★★★ | March 2019
Undetectable | ★★★★ | March 2019
Awkward Conversations With Animals … | ★★★★ | April 2019
HMS Pinafore | ★★★★ | April 2019
Unsung | ★★★½ | April 2019


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