Review: The Ching Room

Attune Theatre
Various Locations, Glasgow, 10-13 June 2017

[usr 3]

Can a drug fueled euphoria – delivered and paid for under threat – force you to reconsider your priorities and better assert your boundaries in life?

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of The Ching Room where a somewhat square (albeit articulate) wedding poet is about to show us. In this rousing comedy about a toilet cubicle tipped to transcend space and time to bring wisdom and euphoria down the ages. At a considerable fee, The Ching is guaranteed to provide value for money.

The execution of this piece (Alan Bisset, 2009) is cannily executed in close quarters. The two characters get into one another’s faces (the dealer more so that of his unwitting client), are forced to swap sides, block one another’s entry and exit, and generally get in the way. Director, Stewart Schiller, does much with little. Alex Dodd executes his role as cockney drug-dealer turned transcendental-therapist with expert finesse in his timing.

The unnecessary miming of simple props like wallets and phones breaks the willing suspension of disbelief and the attending bar neglected to turn the off the disco music next door which bled into the room in the early stages of the show as patrons arrived late or excused themselves to the lavatory. Despite these set backs the humorous piece is ubiquitously enjoyed, raising laughs as well as eyebrows.