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Greater London
posted/updated: 14 Apr 2016 -
Target Driven
by Jane Quill
society/company: Beaufort Players Drama Group, The (directory)
performance date: 13 Apr 2016
venue: Church of the Ascension Hall, Beaufort Road, Ealing
reviewer/s: Andrea Richardson (Sardines review)

It is a pleasure to see something new in amateur theatre. Freshly written plays from new talent can go one of two ways, but this one is definitely worth catching.

Target Driven is a new comedy drama written by Jane Quill, and was presented by Beaufort Players. This modern take on an estate agents in Holland Park explores the art of customer service, and the lack of it in today’s fast paced workplace.

Both myself and my guest thoroughly enjoyed this production. It helped that my guest is a conveyancing solicitor so fully recognised the situations and found the references to her profession very amusing. The main element of comedy comes from recognising the characters. Anyone who has worked in an office will know the type of people presented on stage – the terrible manager, the gossip, etc. You will also recognise the office politics, the flirting and the back stabbing. The play was well constructed, and introduced key characters effectively, as well as being a very good storyline. If I am honest, the “finale” moment where the twist in the tale is revealed was a bit of an anti-climax, perhaps not delivered as well as it could have been, but it did not detract from the entertainment value.

This was a large cast production with about 8 principal characters. It does not matter how good the actors are, this cannot hide a bad script. This was not the case here, as the cast kept this well written story moving along. This reviewer feels the show was stolen by Mintu Miah as Jatinder, the highly unpleasant Area Director. His performance was excellent – it reminded me of the character of Douglas Reynholm from “The IT Crowd” with his clichés and bullish attitude. Matt Tylianakis as Mr Bonfils, the creepy property buyer, also had great characterisation. Well done also to Thomas Cobb (Gavin), who I have seen in 2 other productions, and I think is improving his acting skills well. There are too many to pick out others but there were no weak performances here at all.

Staging was very well presented, showing the estate agents’ office, with good use of an apron for a few scenes outside the office. With a large cast and making full use of the stage space it was occasionally difficult to hear all the lines due to the projecting of sound from the back of the stage, but this did not alter our enjoyment of the show. The audience were laughing at the comedic elements consistently – especially the scene where Jatinder is giving a big speech and Gavin and Brendan are messing around behind him. Also worth noting was the good use of music – we enjoyed singing along to the brief snatches of music covering scene changes, all relating to money!

Overall this reviewer enjoyed the production and would recommend seeing it. It is slick, well performed and very funny. Congratulations go to Director and Writer Jane Quill, Producer Krystyna Kobiak, and all the cast and crew.


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