Review by Emma Whitelaw
THE how much is too much? How far is too far?
Risk Everything, currently showing at the Old
Red Lion, is a hilariously dark comedy written by George
It is the final instalment of a collection of six plays by the
talented playwright, entitled Suburban Motel.
Donna King steals the show as the manipulative and desperate
gambling addict, Carol.
In what can only be described as a performance of sheer brilliance,
King zealously takes to the character who would risk everything,
including the lives of her family, to win big.
The story takes place in a seedy motel room, where Carol is hiding
out after being severely beaten for lifting cash from the notorious,
but never seen, Steamboat Jeffries.
Not willing (or able) to clear the mess on her own, she soon
drags her daughter, son-in-law and innocent bystander, wannabe
porn-king, Michael, into the game.
With a mother-daughter relationship similar to that of Ab Fabs
Eddie and Saffie, Carol is constantly being reprimanded for her
childishly irresponsible antics by her disapproving child, Denise.
Played by Provence Maydew, Denise, after a few hiccups along
the way, is trying to get her life back on track and become an
honest and respectable citizen. Her mothers predicament,
therefore, is most certainly not a welcome one.
Denise not only struggles to keep
her mother in check, she must also keep tabs on her recovering
junkie/TV addict husband RJ.
Although slightly idiotic, RJ is a loveable lad and played brilliantly
by Nathan Nolan.
Unsuspecting Michael stumbles into the mess when Carol complains
about the noise hes making, while filming adult entertainment
in the room next door.
Played by David Jansen, Michael may be part of the slime of the
underworld, but he has a heart of gold.
To Carol, RJ and Michael are easy targets. She uses mind games
and her sexuality to convince them both to take part in her cunning
scheme against Steamboat Jefferies. The consequences of which
is both exceedingly riotous and gripping.
The set is wonderful, from the cheesy 70s-inspired table lamps,
to the tacky neon lights shining through the blinds.
Costuming and make up were also fabulous. Carols bruising
and cuts were incredibly convincing, and her leopard skin shirt,
teamed with extra mini miniskirt, added depth to the already seedy
underbelly of the character.
The music and lighting were also credible. Sounds of running
water from the bathroom and the make believe TV were all very
well done in producing a motel-like atmosphere.
For a night of light-hearted comedy, Risk Everything
is something I would definitely have a flutter on!
Risk Everything written by George F. Walker, directed by Jeremy
Bond. Starring Donna King, Provence Maydew, Nathan Nolan and David
Jansen. Set and Costume by Dorothy Wright, Lighting by Julian
McCready, Original Music by ZAP! Music. Sound by Ben Finkelberg
and Make Up by Wai Kan. 13th April to 8th May at Old Red Lion
Theatre, 418 St John Street, London EC1. Box Office 020 7837 7816.