Review: On The Piste, by John Godber, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, September 30

John Godber's On The Piste

John Godber's On The Piste - Credit: Archant

A play of superbly observed humour, On The Piste is full of laughs.

Telling the story of two holidaying couples – 30s something s Alison and Chris (Samantha Seager and Peter McMillan) and 20s somethings Bev and Dave (Roxanne Pallett and Matthew Stathers) – On The Piste is set in the French Alpine resort of Chamonix.

Extracting much humour from the sheer exhaustion of carrying around skiing equipment and balancing on bits of fibreglass, the play doesn’t stint on keeping the audience engaged and amused.

With an inventive use of set, and some nice physical humour, the couples enjoy a drink together and a memorable cable car ride as they try to enjoy their trip under the roving eye of French ski instructor Tony (Tom Rooke).

Well acted throughout, the play touches on themes of class, Englishman abroad, and explores the shaky foundations on which the two relationships are based. So well-observed, the audience is effectively laughing at ourselves.

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As the plot unfurls a touch more pathos and drama shift the mood in the second half as the couples’ relationships are explored. Nonetheless the comedy never stops and this is an entertaining play throughout.

Well acted and designed, cleverly written and told, On The Piste is a triumph for the John Godber Company.

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A great night’s entertainment.

James Marston

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