One night in the Jabez Clegg pub, Robbie and Michelle's paths unexpectedly cross again after ten years. But Michelle's about to move to Ibiza and Robbie's getting married... isn't he?
Monkeywood Theatre's Last Orders has been revived for Re:Play Festival, and is performed at a secret. The audience is drawn in by well-meaning outsider Stan (James Harris), who touts his wares of Pantene Pro-V and scampi fries to the pub's clientele – and provides a chirpy commentary on the action that follows.
Due to the room's layout it's not always easy to follow the action, as Robbie's stag do and Michelle's leaving do are set up at opposite ends of the pub – and depending on where you're sitting you occasionally end up watching the actors' backs. This unfortunately means the opening is slightly lacking in pace and intimacy, but the moment Robbie (Ted Holden) and Michelle (played by writer Sarah McDonald Hughes) set eyes on each other is nonetheless electric.
The warm and funny script roots the play firmly in its Manchester location, providing a window onto an almost-love story that often occurs, but is rarely told. It's a testament to the quality of the writing and the credibility of the characters that when this short piece ends, you're left wanting to hear more.
- Harriet Chandler