All That ★★★ King's Head Theatre | Jul 30 - Aug 21, 2021


Shaun Kitchener's All That draws us into the lives of two young couples sharing a house in suburban Essex. Jamie (Imran Adams) and Parker (Matt Greenwood) are taken as lodgers by Riley (Chris Jenkins) and Taylor (Jordan Laviniere); one couple is strictly monogamous whilst the other relationship is totally open. The line the plot takes isn't exactly unexpected or original but it is well enough written with some excellent laughs. James Callàs Ball directs neatly, but one wishes it was occasionally a little less polite in tone. Monogamy may be accepted as the norm in society at large, but Riley and Taylor's horror at the prospect of their lodgers having a different lifestyle feels rather old-fashioned. Thankfully the performances come to the rescue; Chris Jenkins paces himself perfectly and is totally believable as the former boy band member now working in insurance - when he finally snaps and lets rip he really goes for it! The stand-out performance, however, comes from Matt Greenwood as Parker. They have the pick of the comic lines and plays them for all they are worth. In a well-paced exposition, we hear how their cruel treatment at the hands and tongues of bigots has led to the couple's somewhat nomadic life. The other two characters, Jamie and Taylor, whilst well played, are rather more broadly drawn. The flirting isn't exactly subtle, and neither of them emerge in a particularly flattering light. In the end, we came away a little unsatisfied, which seemed somewhat ungrateful after all that angst.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Lidia Crisafulli.

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