Review: Squirrels/ The After-Dinner Joke, Orange Tree Theatre

You certainly get your money’s worth with this double bill at 1 hour 20 minutes for David Mamet’s Squirrels and 1 hour 15 minutes for Caryl Churchill’s The After Dinner Joke. The Caryl Churchill was a real treat, a play about aid, poverty, charity, hunger, disasters, politics and more. Amazingly, it also managed to be very funny. Lydia Larson and David Gooderson were brilliant as the two central characters with three other actors playing a huge number of different parts as it jumped from one story to another, all illustrating the central themes and keeping the interest going. Sadly for me, my interest didn’t stay with the Mamet. I have no doubt it was a very clever, well acted play but I have a feeling you need to be a fellow writer, director or actor to appreciate it. Don’t worry, though as the Churchill alone is well worth the £10 a matinee costs for an oldie like me, and if you are lucky enough to be under 26 there are even £5 tickets available!

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