The Impossibility Club
24:7 Theatre Festival
Midland Hotel, Manchester
Mark Griffiths returns to 24:7 after his success with last year's The Lullaby Witch, this time with The Impossibility Club, which also features the star of the previous play Laura Harper.
Nicola answers an ad in the newsagent's window for The Imposssibility Club for people with amazing powers, but it leads her to a drab house where Adrian lives with his wife Hazel. Adrian believes he has telekinetic powers and Hazel believes she has a guardian angel protecting her, but when Nicola, who says she can communicate with animals, enters their lives, they are resistant to her suggestion of using their powers for anything more than opening jam jars and helping schoolchildren to cross the road. Nicola is persistent, but their powers seem less reliable in public and then Nicola reveals herself to be something different from what any of them expected.
This play is fast-moving for the most part and quite funny although, like in Lullaby Witch, there are some comic lines that it seems the writer was too keen to keep even though they distract from the action. Laura Harper once again gives a strong performance as Nicola, Paul Hassall is superbly pathetic as Adrian, and Chrissy Hoey, although a little too hesitant early on with some comic lines, gives a good portrayal as Adrian's strong, suspicious and protective wife, Hazel.
The twist is certainly a surprise, but because it is such a drastic change to what has gone before, it doesn't set up the ending quite as much as it could (there are a few hints, which only become clear late on) and leaves most of the first three quarters of the play unresolved, as though we have watched most of one play and then the ending of a different play. Even the ending that is there finishes at a moment when it could still all go wrong again.
Having said that, this is an entertaining piece with plenty of laughs and some great performances.
22 to 27 July 2008.
Reviewer: David Chadderton