search
date/time
Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
frontpagebusinessartscarslifestylefamilytravelsportsscitechnaturefictionCartoons
Sarah Crown
Theatre Correspondent
6:14 AM 12th June 2024
arts
Review

The Syndicate

 
L-R Samantha Giles, Rosa Coduri-Fulford, Gaynor Faye, Benedict Shaw, Oliver Anthony
Photo Credit: Dave Hogan
L-R Samantha Giles, Rosa Coduri-Fulford, Gaynor Faye, Benedict Shaw, Oliver Anthony Photo Credit: Dave Hogan
Based on the hit BBC TV series that entertained millions of viewers over four series, The Syndicate is a new comedy drama by the legendary Kay Mellor and, as the name implies, follows five supermarket employees whose lottery syndicate numbers are drawn winning them a twenty four million pound jackpot.

Faye Mellor’s great talent has always been her ability to create ordinary characters and situations that the majority of people can relate to and this, her final offering, is no exception. I’m sure that everyone has at some time dreamt about a lottery win and fantasied as to how they would spend their winnings should they be so lucky. Throughout the play, the audience is presented with various moral dilemmas which makes you ponder if money and happiness can ever go together hand in hand.

Brooke Vincent and Benedict Shaw
Photo Credit: Dave Hogan
Brooke Vincent and Benedict Shaw Photo Credit: Dave Hogan
Samantha Giles (Emmerdale Farm) takes the part of Denise, a loyal and long serving employee who adores dogs and has an unhappy husband, Brooke Vincent (Coronation Street) plays Amy who whilst married to Stuart (Benedict Shaw) is ready to head back home to live with Mum. Leanne, (Rosa Coduri-Fulford) is the single Mum working hard to keep her household afloat and who holds a candle for Stuart. Stuart’s jealous younger brother Jamie (Oliver Anthony) and their stoic but popular boss Bob (William Ilkley) make up the syndicate. We soon come to understand that, as with most of us, each character has their own private worries and fears and believe that to win the lottery would resolve all their problems. How wrong they were!

Mellor’s daughter, Gaynor Faye both directs and stars in the production taking the part of Kay, the lottery representative who is desperate for as much publicity as is possible.

Rosa Coduri-Fulford, Benedict Shaw, Oliver Anthony
Photo Credit: Dave Hogan
Rosa Coduri-Fulford, Benedict Shaw, Oliver Anthony Photo Credit: Dave Hogan
Bretta Gerecke’s costumes are colourful and change dramatically as each character starts to spend their new found wealth drawing a parallel with each individual’s growing confidence. The set is simple but colourful and the majority of the scene changes were achieved by the repeated use of blackouts. However, the accompanying music (Abba’s Money Money Money and
Money Too Tight to Mention to name but two) serve to remind the audience, if it was needed, that the central theme of the play is money – be it too much or too little.

Once again, Mellor has showcased her unrivalled ability to make her audience, laugh, cry and above all to entertain. Her characters and plots are utterly believable. She presents her audience with some big questions around the dilemmas we all face at some time in our lives – relationship issues, the nature of friendships, financial worries and the tediousness of everyday life thus making her audience think long and hard about the frequent moral dilemmas that we face in life and to question what we would do in a similar situation. Certainly, for this particular group of colleagues, not one enjoys their new found wealth.

This is a typical ‘gritty’ comedy set in Leeds so will appeal to anyone who appreciates the Northern sense of humour. It was a full house and I’m a Yorkshire lass but sadly, this one isn’t for me.

Sheffield Lyceum Until 15th June
Samantha Giles and Oliver Anthony
Photo Credit: Dave Hogan
Samantha Giles and Oliver Anthony Photo Credit: Dave Hogan