DOM the play

Lloyd Evans
The Other Palace

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DOM the play

DOM the play by Lloyd Evans is always funny, well performed and occasionally has some thoughtful things to say, though those thoughtful things are never really explored and the tone is always light.

Almost every person depicted in the show is caricatured, from the Remainer North London couple having a ridiculous, childlike tantrum on the street when they see Cummings, to the seemingly brainless Johnson (Tim Hudson) who tells Cummings, “I don’t know what I think. You tell me what I think.”

Dom’s description of other people is never flattering. A certain Scottish politician is referred to as the “toxic dwarf” and when speaking about the Royal family he refers to the “silver fox and the ginger Nazi”.

The one character who is given a realistic and even sympathetic depiction is Dominic Cummings. In part, this is achieved by the actor Chris Porter speaking directly to the audience in a naturalistic manner with no exaggerations of expression or voice.

The show is not particularly critical of what he stands for, though sometimes just referring to the things he wants and does is enough to generate a negative reaction. Apparently, he stands for "Civil Service reform, a big tech revolution and a space programme." These are hardly likely to set the world on fire. Rating himself, he says, “I’m a person of average ability in an age of mediocrity.”

He claims the problem with Whitehall and big companies is that they don’t know how to develop the things that are in front of their nose, having a workforce that is simply covering up its own stupidity. He illustrates this by reference to Xerox, saying, “they couldn’t adapt” so “Steve Jobs stole half” and “Bill Gates stole the other half”.

He insists arguments are a good thing because they can lead to the truth. But if any of this sounds useful, we also hear that he sacked a load of advisors for getting on his nerves, and lied about the supposed £350 million that was supposedly paid to the EU. He even got hold of the e-mail addresses of football enthusiasts through another piece of deception. So much for the truth.

The show is a gentle, entertaining two hours that mildly mocks politicians without ever taking them to task over the appalling things they have done. There are no surprises but plenty of laughs.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna