The play “Jammy Dodgers” presents us with people who have been chosen to start a “new world” 55 million miles away. The people chosen (the play indicates its thousands) all have different views on this. The play mainly focuses on two people – Aleece who continually questions the new system and Si, who is completely bought into the ability to produce something better.
The play is intriguing as the aims of the new world remain elusive to the audience, only being told it’s a “new start, not the same start”. While waiting for the play to start it has a recording of laughter against all the ways the housing crisis has not been dealt with and presents us with signs hung up looking like they were from a political protest. This political theme runs through the entire play as we explore the power structure that emerges and there are echoes of Orwell’s “Animal Farm” within it. However, the parts before the play and the play itself aren’t linked together. I would have liked to have had explained either the potential political turmoil that sparked the “New World” or the promoted aims of this new system to be made clearer through the course of the play.
Because of this lack of clarity, we don’t know what prompted the characters to make that initial choice or what their real motivations are. making it difficult to care for them. Chelsea’s story was a great personal insight and I really wanted to get. More of this from Aleece and Si.
I enjoyed the writing on this. There is good dialogue and it was good here it bluntly shows the opposing life views of the characters depicting how easily the same thing can be seen in a different way. This is also reflected through the in the round staging.
The direction made good use of the large cast, particularly showing the weariness of the initial journey. However, when lots of people are on stage walking around each other it needed to be slightly more choreographed to avoid bumping into each other, especially when they are meant to be disconnected. Certain parts which were designed to be more structured needed a little more rehearsal to ensure the performances were sharper. Having said that, the cast did a great job, they just needed more time to perfect certain parts.
The play had many intriguing parts and we enjoyed this and we have been thinking about it continuously since, a sign of good writing. It has the beginnings of a great political and societal commentary and I want to see those additional / expanded stories. See it at the Cockpit theatre for one more evening.
Rating: 3 Star