The Night Before Christmas lacks range and brings little cheer

8 Dec


Theatre review: The Night Before Christmas, Soho Theatre

It’s Christmas Eve and City boy-turned-seller of dodgy tat Gary (Navin Chowdhry) thinks he’s found an elf (Craig Gazey) in his warehouse. The credulous Gary reckons the latter may have fallen off Santa’s sleigh but his cynical Scouse mate, Simon (Craig Kelly), assumes the man in green with the funny voice is ‘out on the rob on Crimbo eve’. As the pair argue over whether they should call the police, they are joined by Cherry (Rebecca Atkinson), a prostitute to whom Gary has promised gifts for her offspring in return for past sexual favours.

You wouldn’t expect traditional heart-warming seasonal fare from the pen of Anthony Neilson, one of the leading lights of the ‘in-yer-face’ generation of British playwrights, and any sentiment his script may contain is carefully counterbalanced by an equal measure of sweary sarcasm – this is definitely not a…

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