Culture

Review: The Hypocrite

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KCOM social media executive James Fairbank reviews The Hypocrite, which stars Game of Thrones actor Mark Addy and Men Behaving Badly actress Caroline Quentin.

Whilst I don’t claim to be an expert when it comes to the theatre (the last performance I went to was Wrestling Mad at Hull Truck 11 years ago), I’ve seen enough comedies in my time to recognise a good one – and I can say with certainty that The Hypocrite falls into this category.

The play, co-presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company, follows one of Hull’s most famous moments, when Sir John Hotham refused King Charles I entry into the city, and in doing so, sparked the English Civil War. Throw into the mix that he has a wife lusting after his cousin, a ghost obsessed with chinaware and a daughter in love with the King’s son, there’s plenty of sub plots to get your teeth into throughout. 

The performance flows brilliantly from the off with a wonderful mix of funny local quips, clever use of props and the show’s willingness to get amongst the audience, adding to the brilliant script from award-winning Hull playwright Richard Bean. In fact, as soon as I walked into the auditorium I got the feeling that this was going to be something special with cast members attempting to sell fresh fruit and oysters to the audience, setting the scene of a busy town square.

With Mark Addy and Caroline Quentin, the show had its big hitters in top form. Their relationship throughout the play as husband and wife made for great entertainment, in particular their continuous trading of insults which drew plenty of laughs from the audience.

Whilst Addy and Quentin put in the performances we expected, it should be noted that the local actors on display were outstanding and proudly shone a light on the talent coming out of our city. A special note in particular should be given to Laura Elsworthy, who excelled from start to finish as Sir John Hotham’s maid and secret lover Connie.

Music also played an integral part in the play with a trio of musicians, including singer John Sneesby, superbly complementing the acting with their Ed Sheeran-like acoustic tracks. So popular amongst the crowd, a number of guests where asking where they could listen to the music again online.

All in all, The Hypocrite is something not to be missed. Big names, local talent and a brilliant storyline which leaves you wanting more, The Hypocrite is another string to add to the Hull 2017 bow.

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