Saturday, 8 December 2018

MAN OF THE HOUSE: Trust and family values take a provocative spin in What Goes Around

BETWEEN US: Castmates Thomas and Nicholson; Jones and Tulloch.

What Goes Around (Probemaster Entertainment)
Director: David Tulloch
Cast: Neisha Yen Jones, Michael Nicholson, Sabrina Thomas, Samantha Brevett and David Tulloch
Venue: The Blue Room (Phoenix Theatre), New Kingston

“AT this point in my life, everything is going so right. What could possibly go wrong?” Alistaire Robinson (David Tulloch), the central male character in the awesome new play What Goes Around, has hit a purple patch in his life. He just got a raise and a promotion for stellar performance at the insurance company where he works – and she shares a gorgeous home with his wife, Gina (Neisha Yen Jones) and daughter, Tiffany (who we, sadly, never meet).

Like most couples, Al and Gina bicker and fight all the time, chiefly over his frequent absence from the nest due to “work commitments”), but for the most part they are a close-knit little bunch, complete with a sharp-tongued housekeeper named Shanda (Sabrina Thomas).

Truth be told, Gina is getting restless, convinced that her marriage is in trouble. She has her suspicions about Al and his devoted secretary Michelle (Samantha Brevett), especially when Al announces he’ll be heading off to Negril for a weekend retreat with the boss.

Gina decides to hire a gardener/handyman. Tall and sturdily built, Richard (Michael Nicholson) seems just the man for the job. “I come to take care of all the problems in this house,” he announces, giving us some shifty eyes.

Is this man who he says he is? What’s really going down in Negril? The audience is in for some shocking developments that start to unfold when Tiffany suddenly vanishes, and the dream world that Alistaire worked so hard to build starts to crumble around him.

Full of passion, secrets and lies, and endless alibis, What Goes Around is Tulloch’s reworking of his 2015 hit Sins of the Flesh. The soap-opera elements remain (seemingly unavoidable), but it feels way sharper, the overall package much tighter, than the original. 

The cast is first-rate, especially Tulloch and Jones who seem to have fine-tuned that chemistry they ignited while doing 2017’s White Skin, Black Heart

While Nicholson is all grit and unflinching commitment to the task at hand, Brevett shows that she can bring the sultry-sweet, a sharp contrast to her Anita in this summer’s Sugar Daddy. Thomas, meanwhile, displays a real gift for spiky comedy. 

Provocative and entertaining, What Goes Around is quintessential Tulloch. At its core, it’s about something we all struggle with at some point in our lives: finding the courage to tell the truth and do the right thing. Tyrone’s Verdict: B+

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