Quiz, Noel Coward Theatre | Review

Noel Coward Theatre 
Reviewed on Wednesday 11th April 2018 by Shaun Dicks

‘In a world that is so confusing, I like to know there is a right and a wrong.’

Blurring the lines, nothing is ever black and white anymore, it is forever a shade of grey; Quiz is a show that reflects that sentiment fully. We are at the Noel Coward theatre, a venue steeped in prestige and history. It plays host to many an iconic show. Quiz, being a transfer from the Chichester Festival Theatre, comes from a long line of excellent shows and is penned by a writer (James Graham) who is on a streak of West End transfers. This show has all the initial components to be a great show, and I believe, it lives up to all its potential. 

This show is all about an infamous scandal of the early noughties, cheating to win a million pounds on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’. In this retelling of infamous events, we follow multiple narratives, all following the people involved in this scandal, all leading to the main narrative, the courtroom, where the suspects are put to trial, we as an audience act as their jury. The show is of two halves, the first act is the prosecution, which is well presented by Paul Bazley (Nicholas Hilliard QC), with the second act being the defence, well presented by Sarah Woodward (Sonia Woodley QC). 

The show is presented in a slick, poignant, and often humorous manner. The humour is a particular highlight, with the inclusion of a hilarious warm up act (Kier Charles) who created a community in the audience, and the use of spoofs throughout, there is a light-hearted element to this dark complex narrative. My highlight for this show was Kier Charles as Chris Tarrant, his mannerisms and facial expressions were absolute perfection, Charles must have studied Tarrant for a long time because it was absolutely on point. Charles is a comedic genius. 

Despite its humorous side, this show is very psychoanalytical, it plays with your thought process through the ideas of circumstantial evidence, distorted evidence and fake news. It creates a grey area on what is True and what is False, and therefore creates a social relevance and poignancy, as well as an empathy for the accused. This show is a slow build drama, but that is how the tension is kept high. 

Quiz as a show is brilliant, it lives up to it's potential and delivers a great night of entertainment, with a few messages placed throughout. It makes you laugh, it makes you think and it makes you question. That is what all shows should aim for. I highly recommend this show, phone a friend and watch it together.

Quiz runs at the Noel Coward Theatre until 16th June

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