The Mentalists comes from the same brilliantly witty mind that brought One Man, Two Guvnors to the stage. It takes place in a slightly dingy bed and breakfast in Finsbury Park, London.
This show takes so many twists and turns that you can never really guess what might happen next. In fact, looking back, there is no way to predict how the show ends considering how it begins. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the show as there is a significant lack of synopsis, but it’s such a brilliantly bizarre show that it would be impossible to box it into one short storyline.
Comedian Stephen Merchant plays Ted, who has hired out a hotel room for himself and his best friend Morrie, played by Gavin and Stacey’s Steffan Rhodri. Ted has a plan that will revolutionise the world and, together with Morrie and his video camera, he plans on taking his plan global. Things take a stray turn when the hotel reception keep ringing regarding unpaid bills and other mysterious matters that lead Morrie to suspect his friend might just be in trouble.
It seems obvious that any show that brings such a great comic team together will be hilarious and the show most certainly lives up to expectations. The plot focuses on their friendship and the execution of Ted’s plan. There are countless fantastic jokes including one perfectly-timed joke about the Greeks that was definitely met by approval from the audience.
The cast is phenomenal and really shows what a great call it is to use two wonderful comedians to play these characters. Both are so different in their styles but the dynamic between the pair is effortless – even during the tenser moments of the plot. Neither character follows through expectations from their introduction until the show’s end. Ted is a successful business man with a wife and two children. Morrie is a barber whose imagination runs wild as he invents a life for himself that shields him from reality. The two friends met in an orphanage and have stuck together ever since, and have a truly unique friendship.
This is a dark comedy with a unique take on the importance of friendship and getting through life. The entire run is echoed by audience’s laughter throughout and makes for a really fantastic night out at the theatre. It’s only on for a limited run so pull it up to the top of your ‘to see’ list.
The Mentalists plays at the Wyndham’s Theatre until 26 September. For more information and tickets, see The Mentalists website. Photo by Helen Maybanks.