"Madcap mayhem and festive fun"
by Ben Macnair for remotegoat on 10/12/17

Slapstick, knowing, and affectionate nods towards Agatha Christie, John Buchan, Bourne and Bond, and more than enough snowflakes are onboard the Christmas Express.

Following on from last year’s incredibly popular Crimes Against Christmas the four performers in New Old Friends bring committed performances to the various roles within the plot, from the Russian Circus performers, to the love-lorn porter and his beloved, all of the train staff, the dubious rich men, or the Agent who is trekking the notorious Jewel thief Pseudonym.

Sight gags, and jokes about everything from popular culture, to certain political figures feature throughout. The cast of Heather Westwell, Jonny McClean, Doron Davidson and writer Feargus Woods Dunlop enter fearlessly into the fray, in a show that includes numerous accents, costume changes, the intelligent use of stage furniture, and each other for sight gags, so in successive scenes we see Jonny McClean as circus performer Viktor carried of by his twin brother Igor, only to feature in the next scene as Phillipe talking about his star-crossed love life, or Doron Davidson playing the Jewel carrying arch rivals Senum and Venetris, the only things separating the two characters are their accents and the colour of their hats.

I can’t go much into the plot, without giving much away, but the production also features a chase across the snow-covered top of the train, gun fire, the use of magic, and sleight of hand to fool the audience.
The evening is an entertaining and lively one. Does It all comes down to a card game, and wins against incredible odds? Does the guy get the girl? Does the agent get her man? Does the thief get his jewel? There is only one way to find out.

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