The Information On: `The John Wayne Principle'

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

Patrick Sandford, the Australian artistic director of Southampton's Nuffield Theatre, gives the first English airing to Tony McNamara's very funny Aussie hit comedy which targets the cut-throat ethics of global business.

Who's In It?

Alan Westaway is wonderfully engaging as Robbie, the Harvard MBA son who is forced back in to the fray when his father decrees that half his business will go the prodigal son if he proves he can run it for a year, while Sally Bourne is big and tough as Serena, the daughter who loyally stayed around.

What They Say About It

"This show is as vivid and pungent as a safari round the gussets of Sir Les Patterson... Sandford's cast sound as if they really relish wrapping their lips round the juicy dialogue. It's for the lines, rather than the plot line, that you would want to see this show. McNamara's is a talent worth keeping an ear out for," Paul Taylor, The Independent.

"The dialogue is more black than comic, relying upon personal insults and the frank expression of contempt for business rivals and victims. Perhaps this style comes across as funnier in Sydney, where the play is set, but I prefer a play's comedy to emerge through events, interplay and structure... Unfortunately, McNamara is unable to create convincing women. Whether as secretary come slut, hard-faced careerist, social gusher or wife with attitude, they never break out of a simplistic mould. Pity..," Jeremy Kingston, The Times.

Where You Can See It

The John Wayne Principle is at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton (01703 671771) to 20 Nov