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Rough Crossing – Theatre Royal Bath REVIEW

Tom Stoppard’s unmistakable script gives this production its buoyancy whilst it is steered through the chopping seas by a crew of actors. Rough Crossing is a play about a play set in the 1930s on cruise to New York where it is battling the elements as well as love troubles and other smaller quirky problems.

John Partridge took to the role of playwright Turai like a duck to water. His interpretation of the character was mesmerising, to the point where I was often watching his reactions rather than the main focus of the scene.

Rough Crossing - [l-r] Rob Ostlere (Adam), John Partridge (Turai), Matthew Cottle (Gal), Issy Van Randwyck (Natasha) - Credit Pamela Raith Photography

Dvornichek, the butler on board, is played brilliantly by Charlie Stemp. From his wobbly sea legs to lengthy comedic monologues, his character was well developed and loveable and hilarious in equal abundant amounts.

Song and dance is drizzled throughout the piece with John Partridge and Charlie Stemp not being able to resist a fabulous dance number which outshone a lackluster ending to the show.

Rough Crossing - [l-r] Rob Ostlere (Adam), Issy Van Randwyck (Natasha), John Partridge (Turai), Matthew Cottle (Gal) - Credit Pamela Raith Photography

The dialogue brought laugher and thanks to the cast, lines were delivered with perfect comedic timing. This is where Matthew Cottle shone as playwright Gal bringing us the majority of the comedy.

Rough Crossing - [l-r] Rob Ostlere (Adam), John Partridge (Turai), Charlie Stemp (Dvornichek) - Credit Pamela Raith Photography

However this production falls short in the plot department. It is all rather thin and flimsy with the story arc never really reaching a peak.

The combination of a weak plot and strong cast with occasional songs and well delivered but slightly tired humour produced a perfectly enjoyable show but not one that left an impact on the audience. What Rough Crossing gives you is a pleasant evening of entertainment so if that’s what you’re after then anchors away.

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