A recorded message from writer Sandi Toksvig talked about the magic of theatre before the production, and how right she was, as a packed audience sat together, eagerly anticipating watching her new play Silver Lining. At its best, theatre is the most immediate form of entertainment, and from the start, Sandi Toksvig’s razor sharp dialogue grabbed and engaged you.
Living in a nursing home in Gravesend (the black humour was there right from the beginning) five extraordinary yet forgotten women came together one stormy night to hatch an escape plan. Sheila Reid played feisty Gloria, Maggie McCarthy and Joanna Monro took on the roles of bickering sisters May and June, Maureen, a former amateur actor who still longed for that elusive main role was portrayed by Rachel Davies, and Amanda Walker was a new resident, suffering from dementia, christened St Michael, as that was what it said on the label of her nightdress. Keziah Joseph played Hope, a black agency temp who was supposed, but failed miserably to help the residents in their evacuation as a torrential storm threatened to flood their riverside property; with Theo Toksvig-Stewart making his professional stage debut as looter Jed.
Not much scope for laughs there you would imagine? Sandi Toksvig proved otherwise with her witty dialogue, wonderfully delivered by a stellar cast.
There were lots of compelling, challenging, thoughtful and funny moments in this comedy particularly for a scene stealing performance from Maureen.
It is at York Theatre Royal until Saturday April 1 daily at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.