Welcome to a night at your local pub, or rather community centre, or well, actually a pandemic quarantine…
Great Britain has been beset by a vicious outbreak of disease from which we take refuge in Camberwell’s local, with only the increasingly strained attempts of a nervy landlady to distract our attention from the exterior bacterial onslaught threatening to burst the equally bizarre bubble of the George and Dragon pub.
Co-written by the director, Sami Ibrahim, and producer, Michael Comba, The George and Dragon is an exciting piece of new writing, bringing a nightmarish dystopia of farcical proportions to the Burton Taylor in 4th week.
Originally conceived as a series of sketches, the play is set to showcase a mix of many different dramatic genres, chaotically thrown together, including musical, stand-up, crude farce, silent movie and more, promising some hilariously absurd transitions. The play very much experiments with different types of storytelling in this way, structured by a punchy, fast-paced, often quite bizarre, sequence of scenes. We are swept along with the madness, never lingering long on any one style or train of thought, or worse, the recollection of the disease just outside the door.
Comba and Ibrahim seem to have really captured in this way the awkward proximity of comedy and death to great farcical effect, drawing on the pressing claustrophobia of the national situation to enhance the claustrophobic effect of bad stand-up comedy, set to be brilliantly executed by Daisy Buzzoni.
The tight-knit cast of four promises to exhibit an ambitious range of contrasting styles, adding song and dance into the mix as well, demonstrating the comic effectiveness of smaller casts and collaboratively devised humour. In rehearsal they appear as a highly slick ensemble already, suggesting an even better show to come. Complete with a hilarious musical scene, as well as talking heads, this catastrophic dystopia looks set to become a comic utopia for audiences.
As the characters beseech us to “catch them before they cough”, you really should catch this play while you can.