ED2022 3/5 Reviews ED2022 Theatre Reviews

The After-Dinner Joke (Agree To Disagree Theatre / New Celts Productions)

By | Published on Thursday 11 August 2022

I struggled with this one initially. The show’s context feels dated, as does the sketch-style staging (complete with unexplained anachronisms). I also thought most of the characters grossly overdrawn, more caricatures than characters, and the satire simplistic. Yet Caryl Churchill is no fool and as the piece develops (and the sketch length increases) a more ambiguous world begins to appear, one in which the risks of moral hazard in charity work are made plain. With our modern cynicism, we may think we understand these issues better now, but do we really? This lively production succeeds in making us question afresh whether we are too lazy or uncomfortable to think clearly about the nature of charity and charitable giving and effort.

theSpace on the Mile, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Alan Cranston]