REVIEW: Radio Golf Tricycle Theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:03 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:31 07 September 2010

Four star rating PITTSBURGH in the 1990s is the setting for the last of renowned playwright August Wilson s series of 10 dramas that highlight aspects of African-American life in the 20th century. The tale centres on Danny Sap

Radio Golf

Tricycle Theatre

Four star rating

PITTSBURGH in the 1990s is the setting for the last of renowned playwright August Wilson's series of 10 dramas that highlight aspects of African-American life in the 20th century.

The tale centres on Danny Sapani's wholly plausible Harmond Wilks, a charming property developer. Wilks has high hopes that his revitalisation of the now decrepit Hill District will pave the way to him becoming the city's first black mayor.

Sapani is ably supported in his political ambitions and on stage by his chic spouse Mame, played creditably by Julie Saunders.

Harmond is a natural politician and knows he is good at it, but the sharp Mame knows just how good, and is already planning her future role as a mayor's, governor's and then maybe even a senator's wife.

The Wilks' ambitions are mirrored by Roosevelt Hicks, Harmond's golf-crazy business partner (Roger Griffiths), but the determined trio's ambitious plans suddenly start to unravel with the arrival of Joseph Marcell's excellent Elder Joseph Barlow.

Marcell shines in his role as patriotic Old Joe whose difficult life has done nothing to dampen his stout beliefs in right and wrong.

The old man's entrenched values and undoubted patriotism are cleverly enhanced by the subtle stars and stripes attire he wears throughout - a red waistcoat, white shirt and blue tie.

His understated outfit cleverly contrasts with the dark-suited Wilks whose site office is bedecked with stars and stripes flyers advocating his candidacy.

The opposing factions are delightfully bound together by Sterling Johnson (Ray Shell), the wonderful handy-man with a conscience who in layman's terms accurately puts the political manoeuvring into perspective.

Director Paulette Randall, directing her fifth Wilson scripted play at the Tricycle, has ably teed up and then cleverly played her way to a successful conclusion.

Until November 1.

Simon Jackson

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