Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


This thoroughly charming play, incorporating some of the most famous scenes from one of the most famous movies ever, is a pleasurable delight which is easy on the senses. It features three totally capable and professional performances from Gavin Mitchell- as a Bogart/ Rick Blaine hybrid- Clare Waugh- Ingrid Bergman and Nazi officer- and Jimmy Chisolm – Peter Lorre and ‘play it again’ Sam- and each contributes in many additional ways. A light-hearted look at a film within a play scenario which does not take itself too seriously-the interchangeable role playing assist in this- and, on more than one occasion is more than capable of sending itself up.

The drama revolves around re-creating the iconic film’s scenes in a small time bar- Rick’s of course- and apart from the obvious lines and use of set pieces which also have a multi-tasking role there is also some insight as to how some famous lines not previously in the script wound their way into the final cut. Thus the immortal kiss off line’ Here’s looking at you kid’ and its origins via a late night poker session between Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are explained.

There is also an ongoing joke about the smoking ban which is consistently amusing especially as smoking played such a huge role in the original work and often stole the scene. It assisted the actors in creating an irrepressible haze of glamour and, in fact, may actually have been nominated for an award.

It is refreshing to come across a show on the Fringe which is not a one man performance as they seem to be proliferating this year. The fact the cast constantly switch roles lends something of the farcical to the proceedings but unlike other attempts at this genre I have seen during the Fringe this production never indulges itself in the annoyingly juvenile elements.

Despite this Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut is not going to exceed anyone’s expectations being a safe predictable outing and pretty forgettable a short while after, as opposed to anything which is likely to provoke thought or stimulate interest. Mind you I have seen a few things this year which have provoked thought, but of the ‘wish I hadn’t bothered kind’ so at least it wasn’t one of those.


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