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Snookered, Tamasha, The Nuffield Theatre, 3 - 5 April


Ever been trapped on a train surrounding by blokes drinking and getting progressively more drunk and increasingly aggressive towards each other? If you’ve not had such a pleasure don’t worry, just go see Snookered instead.


Set in a bar, four young guys are meeting on the anniversary of a fifth friend’s death. Each has clearly gone their separate ways since the days they were all childhood friends and to make the story really juicy, they all have ‘dark’ secrets which are slowly and agonisingly (for audience) revealed throughout the show. And by ‘slowly’ I mean slowly. The one act, one set play was a bum-aching one hour and forty minutes.


As the quartet drink through celebration and hardship, empty pint glasses, beer bottles and shot glasses line up on the bar serving as a painful reminder of just how long you’ve been watching this shambolic mess.


According to the billing, it’s a demonstration of young Muslims in today’s society – “they’re young men first, Muslims second”. Contrary to this intention however, the piece verges on racist as each of the four characters fall in to some kind of ethic stereotype – the high-flying successful one is assistant manager at Comet.


Unfortunately there are no redeeming features to speak of but plenty of over-acting, a laughable script and zero artistic direction. I fail to understand the point as it offered no entertainment value whatsoever.  


The fed-up, mostly mute bartender at the back of the stage captured the mood pretty accurately and similarly the crapness of the script with an irrelevant zinger to close the show.


I can’t provide a run-down of the cast as the only programme available was a £6 script and needless to say I didn’t feel the inane text deserved my money.


Oh and they played some snooker – hence the title.