Sunny Side Up! Written and Directed by John Godber
Review by David Bithell for A View To A Kiln/Radio Kiln
Sunnyside was named the worst seaside town in the country by a newspaper poll (we can all relate to this in some shape or form). With this comes the local siege mentally if you don’t like it don’t come, a bit of we only drive through Stoke to get from Birmingham to Manchester. Barney is your usual B&B landlord with this stiff upper-lip.
He opens the play talking about the “new” phrase following lockdown, the new buzz word “Staycation” for those who cant travel with the Covid pandemic and opting to stay home for their holidays.
Due to this, Covid-19 had a positive effect on Sunnyside and it was clear to see the previous run down seaside place was buzzing again.
I really enjoyed the characters created by writer and director John Godber which included himself as Barney and Brother in law Graham, Tina/Sue played by Jane Thornton and the show stealer Martha Godber who played Kelly and other characters.
Barney is a very funny, straight talking character who comes across as a gentle giant, provides quick wit and one liners. Godber’s Brother-in-law character Graham is a working-class man, made a good life for himself but due to the pandemic is forced to visit Sunnyside with a certain degree of reluctance. He is trying to make peace with himself by forgetting the fact he was a retired university lecturer so he can try and enjoy his weekend away.
The music in between scenes took me back to being a kid and going on holidays with my family and friends in the UK. Sunny Side Up is packed with loads of scenarios we can all relate to and with the amount of laughter from the audience you feel part of the journey.
With the storyline, you can go from quick laughter to focus on what's unfolding in front of your eyes rapidly, this is prominent when Kelly calls out Graham for turning his back on Sunnyside and being this “above everyone else” personality.
All three actors manage Godber’s quick paced dialogue with ultimate precision in a show that has laughs and serious sides at the drop of a hat.
If you need a laugh and be entertained at the same time, then please go and see Sunny Side Up at The New Vic.
Sunny Side Up! runs until Saturday 30th October.
For tickets, call the box office on 01782 717962 or email firstname.lastname@example.org