‘Family drama that digs deeper’: GO BANG YOUR TAMBOURINE – Finborough Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Shanine SalmonLeave a Comment

Finborough Theatre, London – until 31 August 2019
Guest reviewer: Joe Moss

For younger theatregoers the name Philip King may not mean much but from the post-war period through to the seventies he was a highly successful writer, best remembered for the farce See How They Run which has been regularly revived, and was also filmed, since its original production.

Not being a huge fan of farces I was therefore half-expecting to be subjected to a saucy caper. To my relief, Go Bang Your Tambourine is not some stage version of Carry On but an interesting family drama centred round David, a shy, 19-year-old boy whose mother has recently died, leaving him alone in the world except for his absconded father.

Both the boy and his mother were in the Salvation Army and the contrast with his libertine father, who returns for the
funeral, provides both the humour and conflict in this play. As if this were not enough, the arrival of the attractive Bess as a lodger complicates matters still further.

The second act does stray more into the area of farce as both father and son vie for the attentions of Bess but there is enough dramatic tension to counteract this. But the third act brings matters to a bittersweet finale which steers this play
spiritually closer to the gritty “Northern” dramas popular at the time. At a superficial level this is then a family drama but it does go deeper in its analysis of families and comes up with a Larkinesque conclusion.

Good acting throughout. Mia Austen is charming and funny as Bess, John Sackville as the father is an engaging and persuasive cad and Patience Tomlinson, playing a Major in the Salvation Army, provides good support. The acting honours have to go though to Sebastian Calver who gives a very convincing performance as the bereaved and painfully introverted David. All of them, and the piece, well directed by Tricia Thorns.

Once more the Finborough Theatre has succeeded in digging out a purportedly dated play (though first performed in 1970 this is apparently its London premiere) and bringing it to life in a manner which is faithful to the playwright but
does not alienate a modern audience. Kudos to them.

Go Bang Your Tambourine is on at the Finborough theatre until the 31st of August. https://www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/productions/2019/go-bang-your-tambourine.php

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Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.
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Shanine Salmon on RssShanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.

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