Play On Words ****

Play on Words is a much smarter play than it first appears.  Built on the delight of word play, the production starts off with a few gimmicks but ends on a fairly surprising and touching note.

First the gimmick.  Three actors are going to perform a play with three characters, but the audience get to choose who plays what role: the director, the actor or the technician.  This actually takes place before the start, so make sure you get in once the doors open to get the full effect.

With the roles assigned (and quick costume changes made), the play begins.  There is a plot, which centres on a struggling theatre company and how the friendship of the director and actor is tested when someone else joins, but the big delight that comes from this script is the animated word play that ensues throughout.

The script is full of rich puns and gags that the cast revel in.  It’s a pure joy being able to take pleasure in a production built on intelligent word play, even if some of the lines are a bit forced and obvious.  Still, it is rare to find a new play that one is able to enjoy listening to.

And don’t write the plot off, because there are a few rather good twists and turns along the way, resulting in a production with a bit more intelligence and bite than one originally assumes.  Even the very title can be seen to carry several meanings when one knows the full events of the production.

Play on Words is a rather surprising play, for it is better constructed and performed than one initially assumes.  It has a lot to say about the importance of words and how everything that is said carries multiple meanings and interpretations.

Playing at the Pleasance Dome from 13.20-14.25 until August 31.

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