Four Dogs and a Bone review at Phoenix Artist Club London
The sleazy side of Hollywood is brought into sharp focus in this delightfully dark tale about the film business and how far down into its murky depths desperate people will plunge.
In a competitive, morality-free environment, brittle allegiances are formed and then quickly disintegrate. The way in which the four characters navigate through the hostile landscape provides a surprising and welcome amount of comedy – the futility of their diverse situations rarely gets in the way of naked, humorous and often misguided ambition.
Amy Tez is highly amusing as ruthless young actress Brenda, bringing an unexpectedly endearing quality to a poisonous leech of a woman, while Laura Pradelska’s leading actress Collette is cold, calculating and a little tragic. They certainly overshadow the men of the story, namely Joe Jameson’s cowardly screenwriter Victor and Daniel O’Meara’s unsympathetic producer Bradley, who both do admirable work with under-developed roles.
Although the pace is fast and the jokes frequent, the show’s shortcomings originate from the fact that it is hard to feel any sympathy for such a group of hopeless, self-obsessed desperados. The entertainment arises from watching them flail and fail. Tez and Pradelska are both incredibly engaging, though, and turn a potentially charmless story into something that is funny, flamboyant and fresh.
Phoenix Artist Club, London, July 26-August 20
- John Patrick Shanley
- Josh Seymour
- Rock’n’Roll Theatre
- Amy Tez, Laura Pradelska, Daniel O’Meara, Joe Jameson
- Running time
- 1hr 15mins
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