Going to see a show about grief does not feel like the obvious choice for light entertainment on a cold, damp autumn night but Tiger by Joe Eyre looks to bring laughter to the fore as his play gets a run at Omnibus Theatre, writes Christopher Peacock…
Tiger is about Alice (Poppy Allen-Quarmby), a stand up comedian who is struggling after the loss of her father and although caring and doting partner Oli (Luke Nunn) is a doctor, the pain and suffering Alice is going through cannot be healed by him alone.
They decide to advertise for a roommate to move into the spare room to help the financial burden as Alice is not gigging but also in the hopes that the change could help lift Alice’s spirits. Enter Tiger. Played by Meg Lewis, Tiger is an eccentric livewire and their entrance into the fold certainly changes the dynamic and goes some way to help restore Alice’s hope and playful mood.
Eyre’s script is heavily laden with gags, not just from the kooky Tiger, and with straight stand up material from Alice there are plenty of laughs not necessarily of the dark humour you would expect from a play about grief.
Hazel Low’s set design has the couple’s flat staged in traverse with every surface covered in pink faux fur and this does help play on the surreal elements of the show and the strangest of strangers at the dramatic core of the show.
Director Myles O’Gorman does well presenting this piece in a staging that could prove awkward.
Performances from all the cast were pretty faultless. Without ever overplaying the comedy the cast handled the more dramatic moments with care, giving great balance to this ‘dramady’.
The show runs for over two hours and with a play light on plot, some of the scenes could be tighter, plus, the many slow scene changes drop the energy.
As a comic exploration of the complex nature of grief, Joe Eyre’s Tiger is a fun and engaging piece; thought-provoking and charming the show does offer the light at the end of the tunnel, much needed in these dark November nights.
Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London SW4 0QW until December 2nd. Times: Tues – Sat 7.30pm; Sunday 4pm. Admission: £18, £16.
Booking: www.omnibus-clapham.org – 0207 498 4699