Smack Family Robinson at The Rose, Kingston
It’s bizarre going to the theatre and watching a play that feels very much like a sitcom you’d find on Channel 4, specifically something close to the council estate drama Shameless.
This is the first revival of Richard Bean’s first play since the astonishingly successful One Man Two Governors played to packed audiences on both sides of the atlantic.
Smack family Robinson has been given a local feel in this adaptation, the play is deliberately set in Kingston and is liberally peppered with references that only locals would know about. All the mentions of Bentalls shopping centre and Canbury Gardens makes the play somewhat parochial. It’s a shame that they saw fit to tailor the play so slavishly to a particular audience.
But how they love it! It’s a fun enough play, certainly well written. They’re a family who let the son inject heroin on the living room sofa as long as he takes his shoes off. The mother has access to the porn channel. Dad used to be a roadie in the sixties, his one regret from that decade is supplying the drugs that killed Jimi Hendrix. Smart daughter goes to college with a hope to be a manager but suffice to say she ends up working in the family business. Its all remarkably good –hearted knock about stuff. If these are what drug dealers are actually I don’t know what we have to fear.
Verdict: a funny play, a good night out if you live in Kingston. The play will be baffling for anyone else.