Chris Sykes’s elegant exploration of national stereotypes doesn’t take itself too seriously. Berets vs bowler hats, bouillabaisse vs spotted dick, ‘La Vie en Rose’ vs ‘Old Macdonald’ (don’t ask, it’s very funny) – no cultural cliché escapes inspection. The writing is crisp with a subtle use of rhyme and an exuberant delight in formal symmetries. The small cast certainly have fun with the playwright’s airy pattern-making – it’s also light that even the props, suspended from the ceiling, appear to float.
Robert Shaw Time Out
Elegantly directed.Delightfully written.
Well-crafted by playwright Chris Sykes, Playing Away is a highly sophisticated comedy of manners. At the end of the day this is adult entertainment and by adult I mean written for grown-ups rather than soft-pornographic.
Peter Simpson What’s On in London
A French flavour comes to Frinton for the last summer theatre show of the season as we take a glimpse into the double life of Elisabeth, in Chris Sykes’ “Playing Away”. “Les Trois Amoureux”, the name of the French bistro run by Pierre, Lisette’s Parisian lover, would be a suitable name for the play as we see Elisabeth’s twin lives intertwine ever closer, although “The Frog and Rosbif”, English lover Roger’s suggestion would be equally appropriate. The performances by the three actors are superb, portraying the stereotypes of each nation without crossing the line into the stereotypical.
The playwright’s use of rhyming couplets adds to the comic effect, and is superbly mirrored by the actor’s closing lines.
If you haven’t seen a show at the Frinton Summer Theatre, then I highly recommend you get down to this one
Will Lodge, Frinton and Walton Gazette,
Review from Amateur Stage July 2006
…a sparkling comedy about men, women, friendship, and the love/hate relationship between the English and the French.
The three characters are well defined in the script. The play has three fairly flexible settings: Libby & Roger’s home in London; Pierre’s bar “Les Trois Amoreaux” in Paris; Elizabeth’s Office – London and Paris, and, wait for it – Eurostar – a train seat that transforms into a Car with two steering wheels, one left hand drive in London, one right hand drive in Paris and the final set is a Bed, half in Paris and half in London.
Oh, indeed it could be technically quite challenging, but I suspect that it is a play that could be a lot of fun for three actors in the thirty something age group.
MARRY ME, YOU IDIOT!
A story of obsession, jealousy, paranoia, betrayal and deceit. In other words, marriage.
Adapted and directed by Chris Sykes from Molière’s The School For Wives.
Performed at Jermyn Street Theatre London, 23 April to 25 May 2002
Starring Lynda Bellingham
A modern role reversing adaptation in which Elinor Waugh is a New York feminist bringing up a boy to be a new man. Just as Molière satirised his time, “Marry Me, You Idiot!” is a perfect satire of today. MARRY ME, YOU IDIOT! shows the sex war can be fun. It is Nuture v. Nature with a real twist.
‘Sykes’s enjoyable romp turns Molière on its head – the roles maybe reversed but the conflict remains in this perennial battle of the sexes.’
Sarah Willcocks The Stage
‘Heart warming . Sykes deviates from the original to offer a kinder treatment of age thwarting youthful passions in this fresh six hander that shows we’re all love’s idiots.’
Sarah Adams Time Out
THE GREAT LUCIFER
The last three months of Sir Walter Ralegh’s life as he struggles against fate and his enemies.