Review: One For The Road at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre

One for the Road, presented by TABS Productions. From left to right, Susie Hawthorne, Michael Sherwin, Susan Earnshaw, John Goodrum,
One for the Road, presented by TABS Productions. From left to right, Susie Hawthorne, Michael Sherwin, Susan Earnshaw, John Goodrum,

What happened to the unconventional generation who grew up in the Swinging Sixties?

They grew up, that’s what, and settled for suburban life with garden gnomes, waterfalls, Beaujolais Nouveau and cottage pie with a fancy French name.

All except Dennis, who likes a bit of lunacy in his life, and is having a midlife crisis which makes him yearn to stand on the motorway sliproad hitching a lift to goodness knows where.

Willy Russell’s One for the Road, the first in the Pomegranate’s spring play season, is set firmly in the 1970s with music to match – Richard Clayderman, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow and of course John Denver – and all too familiar references such as wife-swapping, social climbing and kaftan dressing gowns. But the personalities are instantly recognisable, and Susie Hawthorne, Sue Earnshaw, John Goodrum and Michael Sherwin turn alcohol-fuelled suburban aspirations into high comedy with plenty of heart.

Willy Russell always makes you think, and Tabs Productions can be relied on to wring every laugh out of his sharply observed script.

One for the Road runs in Chesterfield until Saturday.

LYNNE PATRICK