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Some Girl(s) at Park Theatre review: ‘Tour de force satire on the egotistical male’

PUBLISHED: 13:10 29 July 2016 | UPDATED: 11:39 01 August 2016

Carolyn Backhouse (Lindsay) and Charles Dorfman (Guy). Picture: Claire Bilyard.

Carolyn Backhouse (Lindsay) and Charles Dorfman (Guy). Picture: Claire Bilyard.

Archant

Ladies, you know that guy, the charming fella who promised the world to win your heart and then promptly broke it?

Well meet the hero of Buckland Theatre Co’s drama, ‘though I use the word hero in the loosest of senses.

Over a fast-paced 120 minutes we watch - sometimes gob-smacked, sometimes charmed - as inveterate cad and serial dater Guy (Charles Dorfman) flies between American hotel rooms to meet four ex-girlfriends.

Newly engaged, his plane-hopping wanderlust is a somewhat selfish attempt to atone for past misdemeanours, namely bolting at the first sign of commitment.

Among the women whose hearts have been broken are high-school sweetheart Sam dumped before prom, brilliantly played with seething uptightness by Elly Condron, and sex-pot firecracker Tyler abandoned after a few saucy months in bed, played by the simpering Roxanne Pallett.

The hurt rollercoaster gathers pace as Guy’s journey continues, with each woman seemingly more deeply scarred.

Blonde all-American sweetheart Bobbi (Carley Stenson) describes Guy’s failure to ever get in touch after leaving to study a masters as a kind of emotional terrorism, and she’s right.

Neil LaBute’s script is full of cringe-worthy introspection on Guy’s part and sharp put-downs from the female leads, who all make light of Guy’s past behaviour for his benefit only.

These women have all lost some small part of themselves to his exploits and their emotional honesty radiates out from the mirror of Guy’s nonplussed masculine silence.

Each encounter takes place in a new hotel room, colour coded to reflect the temperature of the relationship, in a natty set design perfect for the intimate upstairs space at Park Theatre.

There are moments of laugh out loud comedy thanks to superb performances from the five-strong cast, whose pitch perfect American accents are worthy of mention.

And the play is a tour de force satire on the egotistical male, although at a deeper level it’s also about the emotional cannibalism of writers who necessarily steal encounters of the soul for their art.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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