The Waiting Room

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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At its heart, this play – written and directed by Serge Rashidi-Zakuani, for his Stepping Stonez theatre company – contains an interesting premise. Six characters – from swaggering pseudo-gangster Jermaine (Jason Lazarus) to the dinner-jacketed Mr Grahams (Paul Knight) – find themselves thrown together in a hospital waiting room, from which they gradually realise that there is no escape.

Unfortunately, this premise feels both overfamiliar and poorly executed: the denouement is obvious from the off; almost every line is a cliché; and the directorial decisions are, to say the least, opaque. Six performers, dressed in black, crawl around the stage, gurning like gremlins; they may be meant to represent the characters' souls, but their

presence just feels embarrassing for all concerned.

Stepping Stonez was apparently formed to educate, entertain and inspire young people through the arts. That's a laudable aim – but those young people deserve to be working at a more professional level than this.

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