By Tom Barry
With a superb premise and dynamic cast, It Came From The Tumble Dryer premiered the third and final instalment of the ongoing Asockalypse trilogy, as performed at the two Drama Society Writers’ Showcases this academic year. The play recapped the events of the first two parts, and offered a conclusion which held fast to the established absurd illogic.
Put simply, socks have become sentient and are taking over the world. Or at least, that’s what Andy (Henry Longstaff) wants his sceptical friend Mike to believe. Alex McLintok’s irascible Mike holds the notion in utter contempt until their mutual friend Sam (Anna Hale) appears suddenly in the second act, and instantly buys in, even providing her own global conspiracy theory as to how such a thing as surprise sock supremacy may have occurred. All members of the cast excel in their roles, each providing wildly diverging but comedically complementary stances on the end of civilisation. Anna Hale, though arriving none the wiser, once she is made aware of the impending undergarment uprising, becomes quickly and inconsolably hysterical, and Hale maintains this emotional high for her entire performance.
The script is punchy and swift, often relying on moving so quickly that the audience barely has time to think too hard about what’s just been said before new jokes and plot details come hurtling through. This sometimes works against it, as the momentum the actors put so much effort into building up threatens to run away from them. But it’s impossible not to the share the same scepticism and awe displayed, so charismatic are the cast. Playwright Joe Mackenzie has managed to spin this patently stupid scenario into an impressively pacy and concentrated comedy. By the end, I really believed that if socks were to gain minds of their own, humanity would be doomed: and that’s saying something. I look forward to what Shave and a Haircut productions have next in store.