One Sandwich Short of a Genius – Smock Alley – Review


One Sandwich short of a Genius – Smock Alley – Review

It is less than one week until Becky’s wedding and her mother is determined for everything to be perfect. They have the ideal centre pieces for each table, the music and food are all in place, and their marquee is so big it is visible from space! Everything is flawless other than one small detail, her husband has left her. He needed time alone and has disappeared from the household. Rather than let this small detail interrupt the proceedings, the mother has another plan in store. She hires an actor to play the part of her husband for the week running up to the big day. He is a classically trained actor and is prepared to go into this fully immersive part, but will the family notice the difference?

This is a bizarre comedy with a surreal edge, as the story line inhabits a world not far away from an average sitcom but gets slowly more peculiar as it builds. The openings scenes show the average morning in the household, where the mother has a vice like grip on their daily routine. Shelley Atkinson is the centre piece of the production, playing the manic mother June Talbot. She will not allow anything to get in the way of her daughter’s special day, and plays the part with a quiver in her voice, displaying her nervous tension which is just about to explode. Michael Diana plays the actor who takes the part of her husband. He is too young for the part, but with the help of some talcum powder in his hair, he takes on the role. He has a history in musical theatre, which is explored in a number of musical numbers through the show.

This is an odd ball comedy with a sophisticated edge that explores the pressure for the perfect wedding under any circumstances, and the compromises that we are willing to accept to achieve this. It comedy doesn’t always hit the mark, but there are some very funny and unnerving moments contained within, and some quite clever devices explored.

One Sandwich short of a Genius – by Big Telly Theatre company  – Smock Alley until March 28th.

Created by Zoë Seaton & Shelley Atkinson

Directed by Zoë Seaton

Cast – Shelley Atkinson, Michael Diana, Conor Grimes, Claire Lamont, Patrick J O’Reilly

Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin – Fri 27 & Sat 28 March at 7.30pm

Box Office: +353 (0)1 6770014 – www.smockalley.com

Full tour dates below –


The Alley Theatre, Strabane – Sun 29 March at 8pm

Box Office: 028 7138 4444 – www.alley-theatre.com


Riverside Theatre, Coleraine – Wed 1 April at 8pm

Box Office: 02870 123 123 – http://tickets.riversidetheatre.org.uk/


Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry – Thurs 2 April at 8pm

Box Office: 028 3031 3180


The Market Place Theatre, Armagh – Sat 4 April at 8pm

Box Office: 028 3752 1821 – www.marketplacearmagh.com

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