Writer: Justin Hopper.
Director: Gavin Dent.
Reviewer: Hannah Powell
What do you receive when you mix together gambling, a cast of okay actors, and a plot so predictable you can see it coming a mile away? Flutter by Justin Hopper is a story of addiction, capitalism, relationships, and the working classes once again being shown in an unsavoury light.
Flutter is the story of seven different, unremarkable characters who all frequent the same independent betting shop day in day out in some way or another. Tom (Greg Snowden) – your average family man gets made redundant from his job at the brewery. He makes a decision, based upon his winning streak and statistical knowledge, to become a professional gambler against the advice of his previously addicted to gambling Godfather, Dennis (Mark Keegan)… You can see where this is going.
As you probably may have already guessed from the obvious attempt at foreshadowing flashing so brightly at the audience it might as well be in neon lights, things do not turn out great for Tom, and he soon ends up echoing the past of his Godfather.
The actors do as well as expected considering the script they are given, some praise must be given to the two ladies of the piece Rose (Antonia Kemi Coker) and Kelly (Abby Cassidy) for their ability to maintain the audiences’ attention for the 10-15 minutes they get to speak during this one hour and thirty-minute-long play.
Gambling addiction is an important topic to shed light upon, but why does this need to highlight topics always come at the expense of the working class? one is starting to get fed up of seeing play after play depict working class people ruining their lives through one addiction or another, or simply being there to play the fool. There is more to the working classes than depression and turmoil.
The biggest problem with Flutter is the lack of stakes. Yes, he might lose his family, yes, she might lose her job, but before the audience has even had a chance to ponder the consequences the problem has been resolved with no real conflict, no character progression. The play feels entirely too long for what we are given, except for the witty one-liners of Yankee Bob (Shango Baku), an elderly Jamaican man who steals the show whenever he enters the room, it is all slightly too pedestrian.
Flutter had the potential to really come in with some new hard-hitting facts about gambling addiction and its effects of family and friends, but despite the occasional laugh at the expense of the characters it just doesn’t deliver the winning odds. A predictable story with an even more predictable and disappointing end.
Runs until 16 June 2018 | Image: Contributed