‘A talented ensemble plays well off the comic energy’: GOING APE! – Union Theatre

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Union Theatre, London – until 10 July 2021

Did you know Adam and Eve lived for 900 years? I must have forgotten that bit of Sunday School… Andrew Corbet Burcher’s Going Ape joins them a few centuries down the line. Tossed out of the Garden of Eden, their son Cain banished to roam the world, nothing but apples to cook, they’ve hit that 300 year itch.

But Cain is coming to visit for a couple of days, where he’ll meet his new brother Seth for the first time. And he’s got his own surprise in store, a girlfriend called Lucy who he met on his travels. Her real name is Australopithecus afarensis and she’s a big fan of bananas, she’s also about to open their eyes by tipping over on the evolutionary scale.

As a broad and bawdy comedy, Going Ape hits the mark on what it is trying to achieve. It’s a frippery that takes not a minute of itself seriously, as Lucy’s speedy evolution from semi-upright to stagey nightmare evidences. Post-interval, she seizes control in order to invent ‘theatre’ and stage a version of the Creation myth featuring the original cast.

Evan Ensign’s loose-limbed production lets a few too many of the scripted jokes slide by unnoticed but a talented ensemble play well off the comic energy with each other and the audience. As the long-suffering Eve, Melanie La Barrie (oops! she did it again) is gloriously good fun, as is Gabriel Vick’s alarmingly bicep-flexing Cain, amusingly recast as a gap yah kid.

Going Ape is booking at the Union Theatre until 10 July 2021.

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Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
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Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

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