Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne until Saturday 20th May
Set in Cuba in 1958, Jim Wormold, Charles Davies, an unsuccessful vacuum cleaner salesman becomes ridiculously coerced into spying for the M16, falling for the monetary recompense to financially support his daughter, Isla Carter. Fictitiously employing more agents the story becomes entwined with his friend Hasselbacher’s, James Dinsmore, history and continues to the end with the continuing ridiculousness of the story line. Michael Onslow, supports the cast well, playing three main characters. All the cast members narrate throughout and switch characters at pace, playing at least eight main characters in the play and umpteen extras including police, nuns and a dame, which is a test image to their skills as actors with varying accents and several quick costume alterations.
The audience however have to pay attention to keep up with the fast changing characters as the actors also move the props around the single set to create different scenes. This added a little bit of hectic for me which added to the farcical nature of the play but also was hard work keeping up to speed with what was transpiring throughout the two scenes. The slightly long winded first act does end with anyone who does not know the story understanding where the play is going,but the second act didn’t quite hold my attention until the excellent improvisation of the driving scene.
Our Man in Havana is touring the country and playing at Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne on 17th till 20th May.
Reviewer: Julie Warwick