Falling into generation gap

Weekend Breaks by John Godber, Cambridge Arts Theatre, until Saturday February 18.

Cleverly observed and full of laugh-out-loud moments, Weekend Breaks at Cambridge Arts Theatre is an entertaining study of parent-child relationships with a dash of class conflict.

Written and directed by John Godber, Weekend Breaks uses the medium of an upwardly mobile and highly educated stand up comic Martin Dawson looking back at pivotal moments in the relationship with his working class parents as he performs his routine.

A simple stage provides the setting for some well observed dialogue between Martin’s parents Joan and Len, played with aplomb by Christine Cox and William Ilkley, as they try to enjoy a weekend in Whitby. And Robert Hudson, who plays Martin, is particularly amusing as an adult frustrated by his mum and dad.

One liners such as “You dad doesn’t like eating out, they don’t do the veg well enough for him.” Are delivered with expert subtlety by the hard done by Joan.

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As Martin’s marriage to a well connected girl crumbles and his parents age, the play benefits from some nice touches of pathos dropped into situations that every family knows only too well.

Though perhaps, and it’s only a minor criticism, there is some slightly unnecessary profanity of language, this play is well worth it. The players hold the dialogue together well and deliver a quality performance building a particularly effective crescendo to the end of act one.

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A study of the power of parental love, Weekend Breaks is fun, funny and very, very British. #

James Marston

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