Wednesday, 19 February 2020

REVIEW: The Dog Walker at the Jermyn Street Theatre

Located very centrally – a stone’s throw away from Piccadilly Circus and tucked away is the Jermyn Street Theatre. Going down you’re transported into a very intimate, slightly claustrophobic space which is the home to some exciting new off west-end plays, with The Dog Walker not being an exception. 

The play revolves around Herbert, a professional dog walker, meeting Keri and trying to walk her Pekingese dog. If he can find it. With many twists and turns they bring out a different side in each other.

For me, the play feels long at 90 minutes, although I believe it was closer to 100 minutes tonight. Paul Minx’s dialogue is sharp and witty with many cracking lines (my personal favourite being ‘with what did Jesus pay for my sins? Praypal?’), although a lot of the play feels very much on one level. Whilst covering several subjects such as coping with grief, alcoholism and loneliness (to name a few), it often was covered by the almost consistent conflict between the two characters. The only exception was the very end, where the supernatural ending felt like a completely different play to what I’d just been seeing.

Isabella Van Braeckel’s set is magnificent, and Harry Burton directs through it beautifully to create some intricate and detailed work, so that even if no-one was ‘on stage’ as it were, you never felt the stage was empty. For me the set was my favourite part of the show and was ably highlighted by Tom Turner’s lighting and Fergus O’Hare’s sound.

Victoria Yeates and Andrew Dennis (as Keri Levin and Herbert Doakes respectively) gave strong and confident performances, bringing life to the stage. That said, sometimes for me there were moments that seemed forced, but these were few and far between. Their rapport is clear and the text bounced well off of them.

Overall for me, this play isn’t exactly ground-breaking, and feels long, but there is clever work there with witty lines and a solid cast and crew supporting it. It makes for an entertaining night at the theatre, but not one that will keep you overly thinking about it for days to come.

Review by Adam Yorke

Rating: ★★★

Seat: E9 | Price of Ticket: £31

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