REVIEW: ROLLER DINER (Soho Theatre) ★★★★

“Why doncha rip my dress?
Write “bitch” on me in my lipstick?
Burn me with your cigarette?
I wanna be shocking
Wanna know how it feels”

Soho Theatre presents the UK Premiere of the 2015 Verity Bargate Award-Winning comedy musical Roller Diner, written by Stephen Jackson.

This hilarious new comedy takes place in a run-down, family diner in Birmingham, where none of the staff can skate. Polish worker Marika is in town and is looking for a job. She has brought her skates and isn’t leaving without employment. Manager Eddie agrees to a two week unpaid trial by which time Marika is sure she will have won everyone over. But things aren’t always what they seem.

The first half of the show is rip-roaringly funny with strong messages about Brexit, Immigration, love and jealousy. Act two takes a bit of a nose dive and ventures into the very bizarre,  which is a shame because of an otherwise perfect show.

Lucy Shorthouse is a laugh a minute as daughter Chantel and jealous girlfriend to PJ (Ricky Oakley). Ricky plays the lovingly dull boyfriend to perfection and Rina Fatania is hilarious as long-time diner worker Jean, who gives a Rosario from Will and Grace esq performance. Lucy McCormick just about steals the show as Polish immigrant Marika but the entire cast bring the comedy off of the page and add depth and hilarity through their performances. Joe Dixon holds the whole show together as diner owner Eddie.

Roller Diner is a brilliant musical comedy that is sure to have a much bigger life outside of the Soho Theatre. If you can forgive the bizarre tangent that act two goes in then the remainder of the show, and its heart and message are flawless and I really would recomend this to everyone. Check it out.

Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Helen Maybanks

Roller Diner plays at the Soho Theatre until 24 June 2017