"Fast, furiously funny comedy Gold"
by Rebecca Paton for remotegoat on 28/07/10

Subs is a comedy that dots its "i"'s and crosses its "t"'s. RJ Purdey's script is fresh, well-timed, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Set in the sub-editing offices of "Gentlemen Prefer..." a stylish men's magazine, the sub-editors have tedious, thankless jobs that, along with the magazine, are under threat in a digital age. Derek, the Chief Sub-Editor, thinks he's next in line to get promoted to Deputy Editor and is making plans for his future. He's been pushed to the edge by his deputy, Finch, who is stuck in a rut and desperately single. Toss in a good looking, ambitious office junior, and then the unthinkable (a woman), and the tension between Derek and Finch builds to a tragic and hilarious conclusion.

Despite the heat under the lights in a small theatre the actors didn't miss a beat and the banter between Derek (Euan MacNaughton) and Finch (Michael Cusick) was electric. It defies belief that this is Cusick's first role out of drama school. His flawless delivery of the brilliant, fast-flowing dialogue gifted to the socially-inept and garrulous Finch allowed the script to be shown in its full morning glory.

Whilst at times there was some "In the Thick of It" style swearing and post-watershed humour, which may not be for the easily offended, the sweary bits were never gratuitous and always hilarious. Special mention must be made for lighting, music and set-design. The Christmas party scene wouldn't have been the same without Last Christmas and Gold filtering into the subs office.

If I had one criticism it was that I wasn't sure if the director had anticipated quite how potent the material was. At times, the audience's laughter drowned out some of the follow-up lines but thankfully no plot points were missed. Going by the applause at the end of the night, I wasn't the only one who'd been wowed by the performance and left wanting more.

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