Wingman @ Pleasance Dome

Review by Leonie Walters | 01 Sep 2014

Seeing Wingman is like witnessing a hilarious adult rendition of Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine, and Richard Marsh adds to that the charms of a dysfunctional family, the loss of a parent and office Christmas party sex in the disabled toilet.

The writing of the play is fantastic, and the fact that it’s entirely composed as a poem eases the lines into the audience’s ears, and ensures that the sometimes dramatic, upsetting and deeply filthy lines are all the more jarring and well-delivered. Describing a penis as ‘grey and slick, like an undercooked prawn’ is nastier when it rhymes. The clever lines and Marsh’s adorably awkward manner on one hand and the at times heavy, mature story on the other engineer a tension that is very well played out. Marsh is – unwillingly – helped by his wonderfully awful dad (Jerome Wright) to negotiate the transitions between innocence and sleaze, and together the two men display the perfect collection of undesirable yet highly entertaining traits.

Wingman is a pristine comedy, where the non-existent stage design and the deadpan manner of the performers allow the words to take centre stage. Laugh-out-loud moments may be few, but overall the piece delights with its cleverness and uplifting feel.

Richard Marsh/Tim Johanson Productions: Wingman, Pleasance Dome, run ended