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Indecent Proposal - Review

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“Everyone has their price”. Walking into the Southwark Playhouse you’re transported to an early 1990s Atlantic City Casino, complete with Cabaret. We go on to be introduced to Jonny and Rebecca who, despite their money struggles, we are firmly told are happy, maybe. But their struggles increase with no way to get through the day to day, never mind helping Jonny’s daughter go to college. So when the wealthy Larry Harris makes an offer of $1million for Rebecca to spend the night with him the couple need to reflect on what’s important and determine the impact that both accepting and rejecting the offer would have on their marriage.

The first thing people said to me at the interval was “Is $1million really enough? I’d want them to feel it”. In a world where billionaires are flying to space and people can lose $7billion in a couple of hours with barely a shrug I can see what they mean although I feel in that situation they might not be so dismissive. And it’s set in the 1990’s when it was an even more life-changing amount.

That aside, I felt the book needed to be developed more. I haven’t seen the movie or read the book so don’t know where the source material goes but I felt the core of the show needed to be around the discussion between Jonny and Rebecca about what it would mean for their marriage and what each of them wanted to do. But it felt like decisions were made very quickly with little thought given to the consequences. These conversations could have made the show much more powerful. There was so much scope for looking at the social dynamics, who has power, who is really making decisions…there were many paths it could have taken and felt it tip-toed around all of them.

Despite the problems it was an enjoyable intimate show which benefitted from the intimate setting of the Playhouse. Having seen a couple of West End shows recently where the music seemed superfluous it was good to see a production where the music fitted the show well, enhancing the story and the characters.

The hugely talented cast bring this story to life with excellent direction by Charlotte Westenra. With impressive vocals throughout Jacqui Dankworth’s Annie was a particular highlight, giving us the most beautiful songs of the production. Lizzy Connolly gave a lively performance as the easy going but still in control Rebecca, Norman Bowman was well cast as the struggling Jonny and Ako Mitchell gave a nuanced performance as Larry Harris.

A good show with some great performances which is great if you’re looking for an easy-going fun night out. Get tickets here.

Rating: 3 Stars


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