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Westacre Theatre features Benidorm actor Stuart McGuan in John Godber’s production Weekend Breaks –review

Review: John Godber’s Weekend Breaks

Westacre Theatre

A television actor starred in a three-handed performance at a riverside theatre of a play that captures the essence of family relationships.

Stuart McGuan – who has appeared in Casualty, Benidorm and is best known for It Ain't Half Hot Mum – performed in Westacre Theatre’s production of John Godber’s Weekend Breaks.

He portrayed Len Dawson and the play also featured Matt Grist (Martin Dawson) and Irma Fowler (Joan Dawson).

Stuart McGugan. Photo: Alec Seaman
Stuart McGugan. Photo: Alec Seaman

Godber’s play is as usual autobiographical and this production, also directed by Matt Grist, captures the essence of the North and familial relationships.

The action takes place in the flat of Martin, a man in his late forties, approaching divorce, with two children and a dream to be a playwright.

His parents come to The Lakes to visit and much is brought to the surface – with his mother being taken to hospital and some admissions from his father which he offloads, thinking she is on her deathbed.

Irma Fowler. Photo: Alec Seaman
Irma Fowler. Photo: Alec Seaman

With a soundtrack of The Beautiful South used – Paul Heaton the frontman of that band being from Hull – the playwright always captures Northern characters and a sense of saying what they mean and meaning what they say – but somehow not able to communicate with each other.

Matt Grist is a versatile and talented actor, and as the character Martin delves into stand-up comedy – he portrays the Northern comic with expertise.

Big laughs came from the audience in response to his parents delivering droll lines in that inimitable way.

Matt Grist. Photo: Alec Seaman
Matt Grist. Photo: Alec Seaman

Both Fowler and McGuan were skilled in delivering their lines with timing and skill.

Peppered with poignancy, this production brings to the forefront the way adult children relate to their parents and vice-versa.

As the Beautiful South lyrics say: “You know your problem, you keep it all in.”

Weekend Breaks continues its run at Westacre Theatre on November 17, 18 at 7.30pm and on Sunday, November 19 at 3pm.

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