The Christmas Dinner Review
"The Christmas Dinner"
by Duncan Stevens
Staged by Second Skin Theatre
Directed by Andy McQuade
Seen by Alain English on 15th December 2012
At White Rabbit Theatre
This is certainly a unique production in London Fringe history. Staged two weeks ago as "The Exorcism" based on a 1970s television play, it was forced to close down after legal objections. It has since reopened in this new production, and while much has changed, the quality of the show remains very high and it's message just as pertinent.
There isn't very much plot to speak of - four self-absorbed upper-class twits get together, get drunk, get on each other's nerves before a sinister turn of events lays bare some chilling truths about the emptiness of their lives.
Having seen both versions, I can make these loose comparisons. The characters and much of the improvised dialogue remains the same, although in this version there is a less of a supernatural take on events. This allows for a clever but equally effective reworking ending that rams home the plays message.
The acting is superlative - rendering the audience amused but utterly appalled by these equally insensitive twits. Their ending is very much deserved.
Well done to Andy McQuade and Jessica Ruano, along with their outstanding cast, for wringing a fantastic production out of the most dire circumstances.