Four out-of-condition, middle-aged businessmen sent off on a team building exercise in the Lake District succeed in being the first people ever to get shipwrecked on an island on Derwentwater. Bound in fog, menaced by wildlife and cut off from the world, their pathetic attempts to get themselves rescued are hampered by their inability to cooperate as much as by their ineptitude in the Great Outdoors. What should have been a bonding process for Gordon, Angus, Roy and Neville turns into a muddy, bloody fight for survival. Because when night settles in, strange things happen out in the wilds. And what took place on Neville’s Island that foggy November weekend none of this particular middle-management team would ever forget
Review by Sale & Altrincham Messenger By Rick Bowen
No Holiday on Neville’s Island
Take four very different businessmen, place them on an island and you have the recipe for some memorable, funny exchanges. But there’s a darker strand running through Neville’s Island, Altrincham Garrick’s first play of the season. Roy, by far the most interesting character in the piece, has a fragile sanity and takes refuge in his religious beliefs when it all gets too much. The pick of the performances comes from William Nolan as Roy, who sucks every ounce of sympathy out of the audience as this troubled but sympathetic character. Bryn Thomas also excels as Gordon, a man with the shortest of fuses and an endless supply of sarcastic barbs. Then again, anyone in this situation would struggle to maintain a sunny disposition. The island may not be Robinson Crusoe territory but it might as well be, as resourcefulness is in short supply. You definitely wouldn’t want to share a lifeboat with these guys. While the acting is impressive, it’s impossible not to heap praise on Barry Fletcher’s brilliant set which really gave me a flavour of the great outdoors. The Garrick wasn’t exactly packed to the rafters on Tuesday night which is a real pity, because Neville’s Island, from the pen of Calendar Girls creator Tim Firth, is a very good play. Star Rating ★★★
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