With some ingenious script, and a cracking little cast, Scooter Pietsch's new play, Windfall, has big potential. Known for his quick wit in writing, this piece follows suit, as a simple office set up descends into a chaos where you never know what's just around the corner.
When a $500,000,000 lottery ticket is a stake, how far do you go? Fascinatingly, the spending is something we've all considered. In a small data management firm in Ohio, the debate is rife as to what they would do with any winnings, besides unanimously quit their unfulfilling jobs. Being regular players of the gamble, excitement brews as to whether any of them might be the lucky one, but a 'vision' complicates the idea, and with the chance of endless financial freedom at stake, there are no limits to the lengths taken to get there.
Starting off strong with the establishment of the characters in our office crew, audiences are met with Hannah, the seemingly timid one of the group (played by Audrey Anderson); the stereotypical dumb drunk lad, Chris (Wesley Griffiths), and the Christian preacher workaholic, Galvan (Gabriel Paul), and Kate (Judith Amsenga), the flirty and fierce head of department. Treated horribly by their brutal boss, Glenn (Jack Bennett), their relatable office humour and general chit chat about films and nights out surrounds dodging errors that threaten a firing. Entering the group with mystique, comes Jacqueline (Joanne Clifton), to shake up dynamics, and spark the chain of unexpected events.
While the storyline slows as act one progresses, it is still evident that each line is a necessary explanation for the complexities of the general puzzle building up to the explosion yet to come. As soon as you think you've sussed out the plot, another element is introduced, and you have absolutely no idea what the next twist may be. Some interval antics by Ella Blackburn didn't go amiss either!
Despite the sheer volume of strong language and somewhat crude jokes, the slapstick comedy is irresistible. There are priceless laughs throughout that consistently make mockery of the psychological messes as humans we cause. When violence erupts, collective gasps at the horror emerge from the audience, yet it's impossible to look away. Driven by fury and paranoia, shocking scenes mix so cleverly in a way with the hilarity of the performance that generates a combination to have you gripped on the wild ride. As the drama rapidly escalates, you soon forget it's all happening in the same office set, and a fairly intimate space at the Southwark Playhouse, too.
Overall, Windfall, directed by Mark Bell, is brilliantly executed. Any moment lacking is totally redeemed by the end, and will leave you questioning your morals on money, and strangely wanting the show to go on, despite the pure mania witnessed. A ticket to this could leave you feeling as if you've won already. So, what would you do if you won the lottery?