Review: ‘Thark’

Review of Clive Francis’s adaptation of 1920s farce ‘Thark’.

The Oxford Culture Review

Thark has earned the dubious accolade of being the play at which I have sustained the most bruises. It’s a rip-roaring adaptation of Ben Travers’s 1920s farce, which relies on exaggerated physical humour for a lot of its impact. Butlers career on and off the stage whilst country gents scurry about trying to placate their jealous wives — this is true slapstick territory. If you’re sat in the aisles there’s perhaps a little too much slap in the balance, having been on the receiving end of many a flailing limb. And this rather sums up the production as a whole. There’s much about it which is delightful and charming in its absurdity. But these elements are overpowered by comedy that is too obvious, and holes in the script that left the chaos that underlies the play rising to the surface a little too often.

Currently running at the Michael Pilch…

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