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The Dog Walker

“An awkward odd-couple tragicomedy”

No canines take to the stage in Paul Minx’s two-hander The Dog Walker. This is probably something of a mercy for them, though the novelty factor might at least have diverted from what is a distinctly muddled piece of writing.

Agoraphobic self-help writer Keri isn’t quite down and out as she can afford an apartment in New York and a dog walker for her elderly Pekingese Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (a girl). She whiles away her time drinking, smoking and pill popping while awaiting the arrival of a ‘ghost girl’. Into the chaos walks Mr Herbert Doakes, a Jamaican immigrant and platitudinous, sexually frustrated Christian, who takes on a role closer to an unauthorised social worker than a dog walker.

Victoria Yeates (Call the Midwife’s dainty Sister Winifred) throws herself wholeheartedly into enlivening the self-loathing Keri’s erratic behaviour and Andrew Dennis wrings some humour out of Herbert’s pomposity.

Designer Isabella van Braeckel’s set consists of a dishevelled apartment littered with bottles and other debris and Fergus O’Hare’s sound design effectively highlights the way in which Keri’s sole means of communication is by shouting to her mother and other passersby from the window.

Much of the physical humour in Harry Burton’s production, particularly the scene in which CPR is performed on poor Wolfgang, isn’t funny, nor is Herbert’s drunkenness in the final segment. Though Burton tries to keep things spiky, the audience is longing for walkies before the 90-minute running time is up.

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Production Details
Production nameThe Dog Walker
VenueJermyn Street Theatre
StartsFebruary 12, 2020
EndsMarch 7, 2020
Running time1hr 30mins
AuthorPaul Minx
DirectorHarry Burton
Set designerIsabella Van Braeckel
Costume designerIsabella Van Braeckel
Lighting designerTom Turner
Sound designerFergus O'Hare
Casting directorKate Plantin
CastAndrew Dennis, Victoria Yeates, Debora Weston
Stage managerAnna Short
ProducerJermyn Street Theatre
VerdictAwkward odd couple tragicomedy featuring a muddled exploration of mental illness
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Julia Rank

Julia Rank

Julia Rank

Julia Rank

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