They Don’t Pay We Won’t Pay Review

York Theatre Royal – until 13 September 2018

Reviewed by Marcus Richardson


‘The Don’t Pay, We Wont Pay’ is a political farce by Dario Fo that has made its way from being originally in Italian to being performed on stage at York Theatre Royal. The play focuses on two couples who can barely afford to eat and pay their bills, due to rising prices. As a riot is happening one day at an Aldi the main character Anthea takes advantage of this to get some free food, with her friend Maggie she tries to hide the food from theirs husbands and one lie leads to another with each getting more and more ridiculous.

Lisa Howard Plays the character of Anthea, this was one of the funniest characters on stage, her skill to creating comedy the both felt natural which meant her excuses just became even more hilarious. Steve Huison plays Jack, Anthea’s husband who works in a factory and is a proud leftie, somehow believing all of Anthea’s lies.  Huison finds the serious political issues and in a way tell the audience off whilst also making them laugh, this really captures what Fo wanted from his plays. The other couple played by Suzanna Ahmet and Matt Conner are younger than the other two, Ahmet plays the character of Maggie who will go with any play Anthea makes up, Ahmet creates this confused and nervous character onstage that has no idea what happening this is both hilarious as she is the focus around Anthea’s plans. Conner plays Maggie’s husband, Both funny and doesn’t get to see his wife until after the interval. Michael Hugo takes in 4 roles in this show from being a Constable, Sargent, Undertaker and Jacks father, a man of many characters and many laughs. The show gave Hugo moments to play with the scenes and playing different characters, especially with both the police men, with the only difference between them being a moustache and accent, warning moustaches can fall off.

The play is both absurd and incredibly relevant to today’s political issues, thanks to Deborah McAndrew who has tailored the play to a post-vote Brexit. This created tongue in cheek comedy that made some people laugh and definitely made some people gasp. What the play does is make you think whilst also being very entertaining, the show will be at the York Theatre Royal until the 13th. I would push anyone to see this hilarious show that is refreshing and lighthearted whilst also being relevant and political.