Hi everyone, and welcome to another review!
This show, that I am going to talk about was on my radar even before I got invited by The Mercury Theatre to go and see this. I am also hoping to go and watch this again soon, so that should give you a smaller insight into what I think of the show but please do read the rest of what I think! As hopefully some of it will be helpful if you wanted to see this yourself. I also need to say as always a huge thank you to The Mercury Theatre for their kind invitation and for giving me the opportunity.
‘They Don’t Pay, We Don’t Pay’ is Produced by Tracey Childs, and directed by Ryan McBryde. Both have bought us amazing shows in the past so I am always hopeful when I see these names in the programme! The show tells to story of local people who have had enough of the ‘Cost Of Living Crisis’ currently happening in the UK and tells the story of local people just paying what they can for the food they take, or not paying at all. The storyline follows the couple Anthea played by Laura Doddington and Jack played by Joseph Alessi as they try to figure out what they doing to do about all the food and energy bills going up, but when Anthea comes home with all this shipping, and she starts telling these web of stories to try and get them out of the current situation that she has landed them in. That night turns into the most action-packed they have ever had!
The show was very current to the time and conveyed well what it can be like for people living below the breadline and just about making ends meet. But at the same time, there are heaps and heaps of comedy throughout the whole show. Sometimes I could tell whether or not something was meant to happen or not, or if something went wrong! All of the sets were bright and colourful, along with the characters’ costumes. This was a massive help, as Anthea wore a pick hoodie/jumper, Jack wore overalls for his work, and Maggie played by Tesni Kujore Anthea’s close friend wore a flowery dress. It was really easy to tell who was who at the right time. Even though all the cast did such an amazing job, I have to shout out Marc Pickering who played several supporting characters, all very similar and this was an amazing use of comedy as the other characters would reference this at times which only added to the hilarious comedy.
This show has to be the most accessible show I have seen so far this year! I mentioned the use of colour and costumes above, but all the comedy was verbal with little sprinkles of physical comedy but they were described by the actors! When going to shows, I have sometimes felt a little left out because of a certain scene, but this is rare. But I have to say, this is the first show in quite some time that not once did I ever feel this! Everything was clear and easy to follow, even though there was one darkness scene it was described to the audience from start to finish! I have to say a big thank you to the writing and production teams! As it was you that make this show accessible, and it is clear to see that you thought about your audiences, including those with Sight Loss!
I cannot think of higher praise than this. I plan on coming back to watch this show again. I just need to find a date that works!
Talking of Accessible performances, there are available: A Audio Description performance is available with a Touch Tour before the show on Thursday 30th March at 2.30 pm. Prices range from £15 – £30, but also accessible and carer tickets are available.
‘They Don’t Pay, We Don’t Pay’ is at The Mercury Theatre from 17th – 31st March 2023! Tickets can be found on The Mercury Theatre website! Get your tickets whilst you can! You don’t want to miss out on this!
Until Next Time,
The VI Critic