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Review: The Retreat, at Park Theatre 200

Funny, sardonic and painfully astute, story of a former City high-flyer is directed with panache by Kathy Burke

10 November, 2017 — By Sipora Levy

Samuel Anderson in The Retreat. Photo: Craig Sugden

THE Retreat is the first stage play by Sam Bain, co-creator of the hugely popular, Bafta award-winning Peep Show series.

The story centres on Luke (Samuel Anderson), a former City high-flyer, who escapes the craziness of his life by going on a silent Buddhist retreat in a remote hut in the Scottish Highlands.

His tranquillity is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of his wastrel brother, Tony (Adam Deacon), who confronts him about his past, refusing to take his retreat seriously.

When Tara (Yasmine Akram), who runs the centre appears, Tony is convinced she is the real reason Luke is on retreat – and horrified when he learns that Luke plans to sell his expensive flat in London and give the proceeds to the Buddhist Centre as he is reliant on him for accommodation.

As one would expect from Bain, the writing is funny, sardonic and painfully astute about male rivalry and human frailty.

The Retreat is a brisk and extremely funny three-hander about the difficulties of living a spiritual life in a modern world. It is beautifully acted by its three leads and directed with panache by Kathy Burke. The evening may not be enlightening but it is certainly entertaining.

UNTIL DECEMBER 2
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