Windfall, 4 Stars

Southwark Playhouse
9th Feb to 11th March 2023

“Pushed to the edge by their maniacal boss, five downtrodden office workers decide to risk it all on a $500million lottery ticket in the hope of a better life. Co-workers become accomplices, lovers become rivals, and friends become enemies as the prospect of winning brings out the very worst in everyone. Just how far will they go to have it all?”

Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars

The office set looks authentic. The desks, all slightly variant, as though bought over a period of growth from different second hand shops, carefully positioned so the office manager can see everyone, everyone can chat, but nobody sees each other’s laptop screens. A suspended canopy with built-in lighting acts as the typical dropped ceiling of a tatty office including visible cables in uncovered conduits.

Robbie Butler’s lighting gives great full even coverage, no annoying shadows, without dazzling the audience who are sat in a thrust configuration. This is definitely a show where less is more and the lighting gets this perfectly!

Set in Columbus, Ohio, the accents didn’t always work for all the cast. Some worked better than others. It didn’t really need to be set in the USA and would have worked equally well if set somewhere in the UK which would have alleviated the struggle with an American accent.

A very funny start to the show while the script introduces us to the characters, however it then slowed down. The 2nd half was completely different as the pace accelerated through hilarious plot twists, comedy moments and ingenious directing all acted out hilariously!

There is, thankfully, no deep message, no hidden education, no social issue, nobody banging the drum about an injustice. It was a lovely evening of pure entertainment! Just what we all need right now!

I haven’t laughed so much and so often in a very long time! Brilliantly funny!

Photo credit: Pamela Raith

Judith Amsenga was Mrs Peacock in the 2022 UK tour of ‘Cluedo’, also directed by Mark Bell. Her films include Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’.

Audrey Anderson is making her UK stage debut. Her US theatre credits include ‘Noises Off’ (Windy City Playhouse).

Jack Bennett was in the original West End cast of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’, and ‘Ecstasy’
(Hampstead Theatre in the West End). His film credits include ‘The Batman’.

Joanne Clifton starred as Morticia Addams in ‘The Addams Family’, Berthe/Fastrada in ‘Pippin’, Janet in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and Alex in ‘Flashdance’. As a professional dancer, she won ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in 2016.

Wesley Griffith was Colonel Mustard in the 2022 UK tour of ‘Cluedo’, also directed by Mark Bell. He was Mellors in ‘Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ (Theatre 503, Edinburgh Festival Fringe & UK tour).

Gabriel Paul was in ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ (3 West End seasons & UK tour), ‘Quality Street (Northern Broadsides) and ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Queen of Chapeltown’ (Leeds Playhouse).

Mark Bell (director) is best known for directing ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ (2015 Olivier Award Winner for Best New Comedy, 2015 Broadway World UK Award Winner for Best New Play & 2014 WhatsOnStage Award Winner for Best New Comedy). Mark took the show from tiny pub Theatre The Old Red Lion in Islington to the West End, various UK No.1 Tours and then all the way to Broadway. He also directed the West End hit ‘The Comedy About a Bank Robbery’ which was nominated for an Olivier Award and ran at The Criterion theatre for over four years. His latest show ‘Cluedo’, a new comedy based on the 1985 film ‘Clue’, toured the UK in 2022.

Creative Team:
Playwright Scooter Pietsch
Director Mark Bell
Set & Costume Designer Rachel Stone
Lighting Designer Robbie Butler
Fight Director Dave Nolan
Assistant Director Eleanor Fanyinka
Produced by Adam Roebuck (‘Afterglow’, UK premiere, Southwark Playhouse and Waterloo East Theatre) in association with Youda Jin and Marilyn Wilson/POP Productions/Lulubelle Productions.

by Scooter Piesch
Directed by Mark Bell

Southwark Playhouse
77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD
Box office 020 7407 0234
between 10am and 6pm, Monday-Friday
In person at the theatre from 10am Monday – Friday, and from 1pm on Saturday

9 February – 11 March 2023
Mon-Sat at 7.30pm
Tues and Sat mats at 3pm

Previews  – tickets are £16full price tickets £25 / £20 concs Twitter@swkplay#SwkplayWindfallFacebookSouthwarkPlayhouseInstagramswkplay