Good Cop Bad Cop
Oliver Dowling, Adam Jarrell & Joel Emery
Leicester Square Theatre
From 11 November 2014 to 15 November 2014
Review by Thomas Magill
No prizes for guessing what the writing trio Oliver Dowling, Adam Jarrell and Joel Emery's lastest comedy is all about.
Set within a bland and claustrophic interrogation room at Luton Airport, newly paired cops Alan (Andrew Fettes) and Jonathan (Adam Alexander) are tasked with questioning a rather unhinged and goofy looking suspect, accused of carrying a lizard and some dodgey white powder through security.
With such a basic plot and hard evidence at hand, what could possiby go wrong for the mild mannered, softly spoken new boy Jonathan who has been ordered to play the role as 'bad cop' in the interviewing process by veteran Adam, who's been in the job since 1972. This shows with his outdated attitude, techniques and thick seventies-style moustache and attire.
As some of the predictable and ill-placed one-liners pour out of Adam mainly, it's clear there are moments of brilliance in this comedy farce deeply hidden amongst the ridiculous and downright absurd situation in which suspect Joe (Luke Stevenson) finds himself.
As the interview intensifies, there's an unlikely and clever twist in the line of questioning, which rescues this faultering farce from being completely predictable, shallow and, at times, mind numbingly boring.
Fettes's and Alexander's obvious differences are clear and deliberately exaggerated to great effect from both, which helps keep the audience hooked in the few moments of uninspiring maddness.
What is more captivating and impressive is the delivery of Stevenson's character. A somehat mad eccentric incapable of lying, this is a gold star performance which brings to life a top notch, deeply flawed and interesting character.
Initially, Good Cop Bad Cop starts off as a simple plot with little scope, so it was reassuring to see it develop. This is a great attempt from this writing trio at trying to push the boundaries and create a new edgy, funny play capable of its West End billing.