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Silver and Gould, Substance and Shadow Theatre
Next showing Exeter Cygnet Theatre at 8:30pm Wednesday 8 June.

Image by Matt Austin
Image by Matt Austin

Innovative theatre company Substance and Shadow hit the bullseye with their latest offering, Silver and Gould, packed full of witty one liners it’ll be sure to keep you entertained.

Lighter than their usual offering this comedic tale of desperation, the working-class and (of course) darts will have you chuckling away throughout, while maintaining the company’s trademark edgy and intimate feel.

This immensely fun play transports us back to the 80s, the ‘fast moving decade’ when Bullseye was compulsory viewing, we relied on a corded phones for communication and Betamax threatened to be the next big thing. Anyone who remembers the 80s will be filled with the nostalgia evoked by two well-crafted 80s characters and a script full of reminders of the decade that brought us ra-ra skirts and Babycham!

Silver and Gould tells the story of cousins Leonard Silver (Nathan Simpson) and Melvyn Gould (Midge Mullin) who are reunited after the sudden death of Len’s Mum (Auntie Elsie). Two very different people, Len a slightly smarmy, self-important musician who once appeared on the cover of Smash Hits and Melvyn a BT engineer whose closest, and maybe only, friend appears to be his cat Bathsheba.

The pair embody their characters and play their differences beautifully. They have a wonderful chemistry, and fantastic physicality, making them the perfect comedy duo.

You are effortlessly transported into the lives of these two men, a feat I always find more impressive when you consider Substance and Shadow’s trademark minimalist set. Why would you need more than two actors, a chest and a picture (the ‘booby woman’) to tell a story? Lesser companies might struggle, but with clever characterisation and highly talented actors Substance and Shadow make it look easy!

The tale begins when Len discovers he has been snubbed in his mum’s will in favour of the local cat’s home. He has to leave the family home and finds himself living in his beloved Rover.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so when Melvyn reveals he has been accepted to appear on cult 80s TV programme ‘Bullseye’ Len hatches a plan. Fame and fortune could be his if he can persuade Melvyn to take him on Bullseye, but Melvyn has plans of his own for wooing Shirley the local barmaid.

As the story moves forward the dream team of Silver and Gould appear on the show, but can they hit the bullseye and scoop the star prize? Or will they checkout with their dreams in tatters?

You’ll need to go along to Exeter Cygnet Theatre at 8:30pm tomorrow (Wednesday 8 June) to find out – you won’t regret it!

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