Humdrum have long been a company who pride themselves in producing shows that audiences might not otherwise see, eschewing the well-worn musicals and over performed plays, instead unearthing unknown gems.
As such it’s no surprise that, when performing a pair of Tom Stoppard’s one act plays they’ve paired the fairly well known The Real Inspector Hound with the decidedly more intriguing After Magritte.
The latter is a fascinating choice. A play that is very funny but garners surprisingly few laughs simply because it forces the audience to really think. Caz Gilmore’s direction amps up the surreal nature of the piece, with some wonderfully oddball characters and great use of props, furniture and some (very lovely) costumes! Claire Stevens’ put-upon wife and Sean Fisher’s blustering Inspector are particular delights, but the cast of five all hit just the right notes and as the audience emerged for the interval it was wonderful to see all the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place!
TRIH is, at first glance, a more straightforward affair, but soon turns down bizarre avenues of its own as Darren Gilmore and Tim Sturton-Davies’ theatre critics are dragged into the plot of the play they are reviewing.