Subletting, The Drama Barn

★★★☆☆

Jethro Compton’s directorial debut in the Drama Barn, Subletting, was watched with NSDF judges in the audience on the first night.

Compton’s play, Sublettting, tells the story of a man (Tom Eilenberg) and a woman (Lucy Farret) who decide to sublet the spare room in their house. Luckily, the quirkiness of the characters propels the plot from the mundane into the bizzarre.

Their quest starts as a game but quickly the unnamed couple find themselves with a lodger played by Chris Samiullah. Hilarity follows as they persistently invade his privacy, before the play comes to a surprising, amusing and pretty disturbing end.

Farret was inarguably the runaway star of this show, and it is doubtful that the play could have packed as much punch without her. Her comic timing was bang on and her manic expression and sudden changes of tone were the highlight of the night.

The comic moments were frequent enough – but some scenes smacked of wasted opportunity. Early on, the couple interview various lodgers all played by Samiullah, a scene which was begging for some comic character differentiation; costumes, accents, a fake beard…anything.

The OTT posh accents were a little irksome and provided little of the comedy but, overall, Subletting was a good night of entertainment deserving of a place at the NSDF.

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