John Godber’s Poles Apart

Published: Wednesday 4th November 2015 by Rich Sutherland

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It’s opening night at the Theatre Royal, yet in the middle of the set stands an uncompromising fortress of steel ruled by equally stubborn workmen. They’ve come to fix a leaking roof (a mere three weeks late) and their presence is doing nothing for the stability of the Chief Executive’s already nervous disposition. When Abi arrives to set up for her one-woman show that evening, she’s met with wolf whistles and gawking jaws, leading to a laddish conversation that includes an unexpected strip show and a hypothetical scenario concerning Lady Di. As the hours tick by and one thing after another goes wrong in Fawlty Towers fashion, two egos are pitted against each other, with the audience getting a glimpse into why each side finds it so hard to get along with the other.

John Godber’s latest play teeters between his celebrated laugh out loud humour and a darker side that delves without mercy into social and cultural divides. Whilst many of his works give an insight into what the working man thinks about the arts, Poles Apart approaches it from both sides of the theatre stage, with scaffolding fitters contending against board treaders. The results range from awkward impasses to heated arguments, with plenty of snide remarks secretly shared in-between. It’s a fun show with plenty of silly bits that also offers food for thought, and at the end you’re left wondering who to pity more – the men with humdrum lives, or those who have to struggle for their art against insurmountable odds.

Poles Apart runs at Hull Truck Theatre until Saturday 14 November. Tickets are priced £12-£18 and available by calling the Box Office on 01482 323638 or from hulltruck.co.uk.

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Published: Wednesday 4th November 2015 by Rich Sutherland

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