James Fritz brings you West Croydon’s version of an Eastenders Christmas Day special, but with more tiers than one of Pat Butcher’s earrings and acting skills far superior to the likes of Dirty Den. ★★★★

Di (Kate Maravan) and David (Jonathan McGuinness), the parents, are placed in a similar situation to Tulisa’s olds when she was a judge on The X Factor. But as overpowering mother (Di) delves deeper into why her son, Jack, made a sex video, much like The Shadow Cabinet after the drain-cover coveter donned his war bonnet – the dynamics of the family implode.

 

Adolescent choices, a breakup, playground bullying, repetitive repartee from a desperate mother, some amateur Miss Marple efforts, classism, impulsive vigilante justice, and fierce loyalties cut across the want to do the right thing.

 

Ria Zmitrowicz, who plays Jack’s ex-girlfriend Cara, pulls off a modern-day Eliza Doolittle to the point you’ll want shake her stern Vicky-Pollard attitude out of her Croydon facelift. But the bandage that holds this beautify stitched-up operation together is Kate Maravan – you’ll feel as though you’ve a pigeon’s-eye view from platform 3 at West Croydon Station.

 

A brain-stirring and engaging performance that hurtles through 85 mins quicker than South West trains on a leaf-free day. A well-deserved Olivier nomination.

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Four Minutes Twelve Seconds plays at Trafalgar Studios, until 5th December 2015 | 0844 871 7632

 

Reviewed by Thabian Sutherland

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