6 February 2017

Silver Lining at Rose Theatre was passably entertaining

In the end it was loyalty to Rose Theatre that persuaded me to go and see Silver Lining. Other people were probably attracted by the playwright, Sandi Toksvig, and some of the actors familiar to TV addicts, such as Sheila Reid (Benidorm).

Whatever the reason people went they did so in good numbers so much so that the upper circle was open (it rarely is) and all but the very edge seats downstairs were sold. I was late to the game and while I was able to get a seat in my preferred Row A it was very much at the sides, A6, for which I paid a modest preview price of £21.

The poster almost tells you all that you need to know. Silver Lining is set in an old people's home which is gradually being flooded as a large storms rolls in and the tide rises.

In structure it was much like a sit-com with lots of humorous, sometimes funny, one liners often making fun of each other. It was a reasonable sitcom too but only reasonable. You would not change the channel if you came across it but then you would probably not change the channel to catch it either and you would certainly not be buying the box set.

Towards the end, once we knew the characters a little better, there were some moments of pathos as some of the ladies told us more abut themselves, how they felt and what happened in their pasts to influence them. This was a welcome change of pace from the unrealistic snappy dialogue but that is all that it was, nothing meaningful or memorable came from these revelations.

The direction was somewhat artificial too. The five ladies spent most of the time speaking to each other yet they did so sitting in a straight line facing the audience. Their movement was as unnatural as their dialogue.

That all sounds like a relentless stream of negativity, and it largely is, so it is worth remembering that I started off by saying that Silver Lining was like a sitcom that was often humorous and sometimes funny. Overall the humour rescued the play and what could have been a disaster was passably entertaining.

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