The Prisoner of Second Avenue

by Neil Simon

Directed by Colette Dockery

Tuesday 16th -
Saturday 20th April, 2013

The Tower Theatre performing
at Theatro Technis

Review by Siproa Levy in the Camden New Journal

So you think you've got problems? Wait until you meet Mel Edison, the unlucky hero of Neil Simon's tragi-comedy The Prisoner of Second Avenue.

He has noisy neighbours, an insecure job and faulty air conditioning during a swelteringly hot New York summer - and this is only the first act. After the interval his world truly unravels, as his troubles pile up through job loss and a savage burglary, and he suffers a nervous breakdown.

This is not obvious comic material but in Simon's assured hands there are great gags, warmth and humanity, all brought to life in the Tower Theatre Company's confident production. Intelligently directed by Colette Dockery, this sparky and finely acted revival has lots of dark comic humour amid the existential angst.

When Mel's siblings arrive in the Act II, in the form of Michael Mayne, Celia Reynolds, Mandy Carr and Sheila Burbidge, we are offered a masterclass in comic timing.

While the Tower Theatre Company's version has no starry cast or big budget, it does have character, charm and humour in abundance and is well worth seeing.

Photography by David Sprecher

Mel Edison : David Sellar
Edna Edison : Despina Sellar
Harry Edison : Michael Mayne
Pearl : Celia Reynolds
Jessie : Mandy Carr
Pauline : Sheila Burbidge

Production Team
Director : Colette Dockery
Set Design : Phillip Ley
Lighting Design : Stephen Ley
Sound Design : Victor Craven
Stage Manager : Sarah Ambrose
Assistant Director : Adam Bambrough