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Twitstorm, Park Theatre, review: ‘A brilliant comedy of manners with strong elements of farce’

PUBLISHED: 12:40 08 June 2017

Twitstorm at the Park Theatre. Picture: Darren Bell

Twitstorm at the Park Theatre. Picture: Darren Bell

Archant

At its heart is an examination of how people embrace competitive outrage and offence, seeming to go out of their way to pose as holier than though and just that bit more PC than the next person.

The Mantons live the life of a perfect north London media couple. She is a successful writer and he is a household name and host of an acerbic TV panel show.

They are sucking up to get their son into the local faith school (going private doesn’t fit their cultivated image). Bex (wonderfully played by Claire Goose) gives to good causes. Their house is gorgeous. They’re living the dream.

Jason’s writing partner Neil (Justin Edwards reprising his dim but nice role in The Thick of It) arrives clad in black Lycra. It is not a pretty sight and we should have been warned: he’s a big lad.

The doorbell rings and their lives change in an instant. A young man, claiming to have trekked overland from West Africa has arrived via a refugee detention centre. He is the poor African lad Bex “adopted” via her “little direct debit”.

Ike (a knowing, subtle and powerful Tom Moutchi) moves in and gradually inserts himself himself into their lives.

During an end-of-run party and looking forward to a transfer of Guy’s show to the States, a very unfortunate tweet containing one of Guy’s not so bon mots is posted. It goes viral in seconds, a s**t-fest starts and a self-righteous media demolishes one of its own.

Twitstorm is a brilliant comedy of manners with strong elements of farce.

At its heart is an examination of how people embrace competitive outrage and offence, seeming to go out of their way to pose as holier than though and just that bit more PC than the next person.

In an attempt to apologise, Guy (an excellently nuanced Jason Merrels) is interviewed by columnist Daniel Priest – a brilliant comic invention of an androgynous, calculating, right-on moral arbiter with not a shred of compassion but a doctorate in setting traps for even the most media savvy.

The plot is desperately clever but some of the twists are telegraphed and bits of the dialogue are clunky. The knowing north London audience loved it - perhaps it might qualify for a transfer to the West End.

4/5 stars

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