If ever there was an example of a play in need of a good sub-editor, Fat Christ by Gavin Davis at the King’s Head is it.
Davis has a strong ear for dialogue and an understanding of the dynamics of relationships between various people - mates, lovers, warring couples. But he also has a tendency to over-indulge this skill.
Fat Christ would make a perfectly acceptable hour-long Edinburgh show. As it is, scenes stretch into tedium and the plot grinds to a halt.
It is a shame, because at the heart of this comedy is a good play that is superbly cast, excellently acted (for the most part) and directed with as much spark as the script allows.
Jack Taylor plays, erm, Jack Taylor, a dreamer who has turned those dreams into two successful companies and one catastrophically unsuccessful film/play venture. He is recovering from this in a remote, rented cottage with his understanding but long-suffering wife Lily, played by Jennifer Matter. Both are well cast and bring an effortlessness to their acting, aided by well-drawn characters. Kate Moss lookalike Matter, in particular, has an engaging matter-of-factness that enables her character to cruise through the production.
Also good is Taylor’s best friend, the womanizing, coke-snorting commercial estate agent Dick, played by Tim Downie. He and Taylor have a matey rapport that seals the structure of the play.
Abi Titmuss, playing his wife, is left with the least-constructed character and struggles to find any substance. There is a sense that given the right part, she would be able to offer more. Alas, this is not that role.