'Dogs Barking' at Questors

Evan Rule reviews latest production at local theatre

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The Questors Theatre


Dogs Barking
By Richard Zajdlic
Directed by Gary Reid
Questors Theatre 9th May – 16th May

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It could well be best to let sleeping dogs lie and when relationships end, rarely does it become a bed of roses.

Dogs Barking
is about the end of one such acrimonious relationship. Five years of living together leaves a lot of emotional baggage, but it also leaves a mortgage and equity in the flat. A not to be sneezed at amount of money, love might hurt, but money is a real astringent to the system. So after three months apart, Neil arrives back with a claim to his share of the property. Alex, his one time partner of five years, just wants to see the back of him. I rather guess that there are a great many couples out there in that situation and like many others every option is unsuitable to one or the other of them, not least because the two of them have their own agendas of what they really want.

I really enjoyed the performances of Dominque Gerrard (Alex) and John Barron (Neil); their characters really hated each other. Neil was a particularly embittered and quite detestable character. Not only was he having an affair, not only was theft on his mind, he was a very spiteful character. Alex was little better herself; Dominque Gerrard managed to get the rather nasty side of her character out, while at the same time appearing to be quite charming. The relationship between her and her sister, Vicky, played by the delightfully nasty Freddy Henry, showed just what a joy it is to have a sister. Almost as a relief from these nasty people comes the one sane person, Splodge (but I prefer to be called Ray) played by Mark Hill. Even I as a very mild mannered person wondered why Splodge does end up thumping all three of them, but then it might be his dodgy knee, or the steroids, or his own divorce from his own sponging wife that stops him. Or perhaps he is the one character that actually does have a streak of humanity about him. Dogs Barking or sleeping, if only it were that simple!

This needless to say is not a comedy, but belongs in that really bitter realistic modern genre and as such, is directed skilfully by Gary Reid. The play does contain some very strong language, nudity and some very nasty effects.

Reviewed by Evan Rule

May 14, 2009