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An Evening with Gary Lineker – Apeel Drama Group

Set in a hotel somewhere in Majorca, Monica is hoping her husband, Bill, is going to “spoil her rotten” on their romantic break away. As the semi-final of the 1990 world cup clashes with the holiday, her hopes are soon dashed, prompting her confession to Bill that she is having an affair and is madly in love with Gary Lineker. This fantasy affair helps her take her mind off her issues– and also helps disguise the fact that she is having a real-life affair too.
Throw in a semi-bilingual holiday rep, an aging “wannabe” lothario and a tanked-up work associate of her husband and you have the perfect mix for a holiday to remember – or is it the holiday from hell!
John Essex plays Bill to a tee. Football mad, taking his wife for granted, and all consumed in his own world, not realising his wife is having an affair. John is a good comedy actor with good timing and expression which always comes across very well.
Lisa Barlow as Monica is, as always outstanding. We soon got the measure of the character which was sustained throughout. A steady delivery ensured we heard every word, and Lisa’s good use of expressive intonation allowed us to feel her every emotion. A well measured and strong performance.
Hoping to find love himself, Ian has turned from wanna be lothario to agony aunt. Harvey Millard makes this part his own, letting us know he may come across as a little bit dim, but he knows what is going on and he has the measure of each and every person who are on the holiday with him.
The arrival of Dan, Bills work associate is a surprise to Bill, but not to Monica who can carry on her affair although she is on holiday with Bill. Marc Lyth is a credible Dan and offers many a one-liner. Little does Monica know that he is also canoodling with Birgitta. Marc does not miss a beat as her flitting between the two of them culminates is Dan sneaking off with Birgitta, but for what reason?
Completing the cast, Stacey Dawber as holiday rep Birgitta, complete with sustained accent is spot on. Presenting a very watchable performance, we were treated to an expressive delivery which was clear, concise, and timed very well.
The scene where Gary Lineker appears was really well done.
Director Simon Darlington corrals a super cast in the delivery and presentation of Arthur Smith and Chris England’s brilliant play.
It was good to see Apeel getting back on track as the new season starts, and I am certain we will be treated to more quality theatre in the future
Paul Cohen