By Juliette Dudley, Fourth Year Hispanic Studies
A Laughing Matter is truly one of the best examples of student theatre at its funniest. The dark comedy written and directed by Pat Coghlan and Joe Hayward takes on emotion and twists and turns in an enthralling play.
Coghlan and Hayward need to be celebrated for the ingenious staging, placing us as audience members as funeral goers and encouraging us to actively take part in the show. The atmosphere and stage were instantly eye-catching and unique, it’s not very often you get greeted by a Reverend and Communion bread is treated as an interval snack!
The story itself is set around the funeral of Jack Church, comedian and father of six. Playing with chronology, the play jumps back and forth between past and present, giving the audience an insight into what makes the characters tick. Wilfred Kemsley, who plays Jack Church, is a natural comedian; they offer incredible moments of lightness with impeccable comedic timing. A testament to both the writers and Kemsley as they worked together to workshop Kemsley’s stand-up comedy lines.
The children played by Ciara Hughes, Rohan Chopra, Ollie Binnie, Jago Abbott, Maya Chawla and Libby Masding all complimented each other incredibly well. Also having devised a number of scenes, you could really tell that this was at the centre of the play, with creativity bouncing off them all. Each was given their moment to shine and was written perfectly, inspired by television sitcoms to provide that family dynamic.
I have to commend Hughes for an outstanding performance, she took a role that could so easily be kept two-dimensional and brought new energy and unmatched emotion.
Chopra also added to the hilarity of the show, providing the audience with some of the best facial expressions, acting as the butt of the joke. It was too difficult not to fall in love with his character!
All the actors embodied vibrancy and comedic excellence, whilst also bringing the audience into a very real and emotional environment. All encouraged to take their own licence with characters, the whole team can be accredited to providing a phenomenal evening.
All cast and creatives must be celebrated for Spotlight’s and the STA’s wonderful partnership in creating such a successful performance. I cannot wait to see what Hayward and Coghlan do next and let it blow my socks off!
Featured Image: Courtesy of Juliette Dudley
What did you think of A Laughing Matter?