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Stage Editorial

dirtyrotten17.jpg The dinner party poised to explode

The latest play from Peter Mortimer is a comedic morality tale in which the well-to-do dinner guests are ill prepared for an unwelcome interloper. It’s playing four venues across the region in October.

Writers for TV, film and stage, who are on the hunt for a setting that will provide them with high-drama and emotion, are often drawn to dinner parties. From the surreal – Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, in which moneyed guests are continually interrupted while they try to dine – to the farcical – Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party, which pricks the pretentions of the suburban middle class – these gatherings have provided rich pickings. And so it proves with Peter Mortimer’s latest: The Dirty Flea-Bitten Scrounging Bastard.

It concerns two London property developers who are celebrating their latest killing in the market with their wives. Their Beaujolais fuelled fun, however, is interrupted by the arrival at the front door of a down and out man looking for charity. They swiftly despatch him, but he keeps returning with consequences that are unexpected and dramatic. A satire on modern British mores –plumping the pillows of get-rich-quick merchants while sticking the boot into the dispossessed – this fast paced comedy is directed by Neil Armstrong for North Tyneside’s superb Cloud Nine company.

The Dirty Flea-Bitten Scrounging Bastard: Monday 16 October, Surf Café, Tynemouth, 7.30pm, £8; Tuesday 17 & Wednesday 18 October, Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle, £6; Thursday 19-Saturday 21 October, The Exchange, North Shields, 7.30pm, £8; Sunday 22 October, The Quakerhouse, Darlington, 9pm, £6. Ticket details: cloudninetheatre.co.uk