THEATRE / The Best Man - Warehouse, Croydon

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The Independent Culture
David Richard-Fox's second play belies the promise that his effortlessly funny Sweet as a Nut showed. Here he jumps belatedly on to the Essex man and trivia bandwagons with an incoherent, overlong script. In a pub off the M11 (impeccably realised by the designer, Helen Turner), trivia king Fizz is about to marry the landlady's daughter, Dawn, in a Sixties-themed wedding. There's a black architect sniffing around; Dawn is unsure whether to leave Fizz before or after the wedding; her uncle, the groovy vicar, indulges in awkward theological arguments. These plot strands, one suspects, were included purely to justify the melee of absurd misunderstandings that precede the daft, pompous conclusion.

Richard-Fox also plays the oafish Fizz, heading a cast who singularly fail to make their unsympathetic characters convincing, and who all seem to be acting in different plays. Much of this must be blamed on the director, Bardy Thomas, who seems unsure whether she's handling low comedy, high drama, farce or something truly absurd. But then, the script's high-falutin debates on God are ridiculous, and its obsession with trivia is, well, trivial. Richard-Fox himself seems not to know what he's writing about: I'd advise him to lock up the pub and go back to the typewriter.

To 15 November (081-680 4060)

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