Edinburgh Fringe 2011
A comedy about class, this piece derives from a long tradtion of theatre about the wouldbes and the wannabes. A comedy of manners and a tellingly dark observation of estate living. A peek behind the net curtains into the dark world of the suburbanites.
Comedians Theatre Company has an established record of successful shows on the Fringe, and this year’s offering will add to that growing reputation.
Cul De Sac is about the middle class estate, and the affectations and aspirations of a sector of society which is both the object of derision and a large part of the paying public here at Edinburgh. Its a very dark comedy which explores and exposes the murky and mucky waters stirring underneath the apparently well-ordered and polite world of the new estate.
A twist on the Stepford wives, it’s a play where men are cuckolded, women are wanton, and dogs die in mysterious circumstances. And all within a thin veneer of bourgeois respectability.
The estate is a place where lawns are manicured, hedgerows trimmed, net curtains twitched, and an outward appearance of respectability is carefully nurtured. But as new upwardly mobile neighbours move in to discover, all is not as it seems. The first full-length play to emerge from the Comedians Theatre Company has much to recommend it. The writing is sharp, the observations are acute.
The dialogue sparkles, and an experienced and professional cast make it work beautifully.
It is very well and cleverly staged. The scenery is constantly shifted to produce different environments in which the lives of the estate dwellers is lived out. And revealed for all its tawdry realities. The stage direction is sharp and clever, the pace is consistent as Cul De Sac never flags, but grows in confidence as it is played out. Clever, classy, well rehearsed, fine timing, its very much a high quality piece of theatre. It looks, feels and is a thoroughly professional performance by a thoroughly professional outfit.
Part of the long tradition of comedies of class and manners, it looks at the suffocating middle class who aspire to be their betters, look down on the lower orders, and find difference dangerous. The world of pringle sweaters, it will make you laugh, may well make you squirm. And will make you aware of how, notwithstanding their affectations, just how rotten it can be in surburban Britain.