Erica Murray's "All Mod Cons" is genius!
This is easily the most fitting title for a piece of theatre I have had the opportunity to experience lately, approx 95 minutes of captivating drama, actually more like a roller coaster of a story based around 4 characters who are simply described in the programme as 1 woman, 1 trans woman, 2 men.
We arrived at the Lyric Theatre open minded having only read a very brief synopsis as I much prefer theatre to be a surprising experience and boy it was certainly that!
Without giving to much away Jean and Gary are siblings who have spent time apart end up back in their family home after the death of their Mother. Having not spoken in almost 8 years due to Jean transitioning and living in Berlin their relationship is rocky, to say the least. They decide they should try to rebuild a relationship and live together as their mum would have wished.
In steps Ian one of Gary's friends who is also an unfortunate Estate Agent who agrees to take on the task of finding them a home, though one of many problems is they both have a completely different vision of what their home should be.
The last character in the mix is the somewhat upper-class Laura who is also house hunting, her boyfriend is apparently working away and she is adamant to get out of her family home.
They all are extremely complex characters though so familiar and relatable at the same time.
Gary played by the extremely talented Michael Shea, is lost after the bereavement, it's apparent his relationship with his mother was difficult, punishing and maybe fractious though he clearly loved her. They had nothing though still managed to scrimp and save money which he was now using towards a home. One can easily see why the return of his elder sibling would not be smooth sailing.
Jean beautifully depicted by Mariah Louca was perfect for the role. I found her easy to relate to as a person of the LGBTQ+ community. Her struggles growing up with acceptance and again a volatile relationship caused a severe wedge that drove her to find bigger and better things in Berlin. Now 8 years on the person who caused that wedge is the person who is forcing her to return and face her past head-on.
Chris McCurry was wonderful as Ian, from the outset it was apparent something was off with him, his home life/work balance was completely off, he appeared desperate to make that sale which I again can relate to, though all is not what it seems as Ian's erratic behaviour brings his troubled past to our attention.
Sophie Robinson was strange, bizarre and very funny lol, we all know a Laura or 2, desperate to get on the property ladder. Ian had the impossible job of finding her the perfect home though she almost sealed the deal until Jean spoke up.
All in all, it was a wonderful performance leaving so many cliff hangers and questions, All Mod Cons II maybe!? As deep as it was there was also allot of funny moments and I highly advise you going to see the show
I will leave you with a short descriptive footnote from the programme " A compelling new comedy-drama exploring our capacity to accept change - in others as well as ourselves - All Mod Cons engages directly with current conversations about our complex relationship with gender, consent and individual responsibility.
Showing in the Lyric Theatre until 8th June, for tickets visit lyrictheatre.co.uk or call 028 90 38 1081