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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
One of the latest examples of comedians creating new drama is this darkly satirical take on the suburban idyll by comedy writer Matthew Osborn, featuring Alan Francis (a sidekick of Alistair McGowan), Toby Longworth (a Radio 4 irregular) and actor/writer Mike Hayley.

They play neighbours in a picturesque haven of porticoed mansions, picket fences and garden gnomes, safe, they hope, from Muslims, Jews and especially perverts. They are Little England writ large and loutish, and they kill each others’ pets and sleep with each others’ wives.

The writing doesn’t really have the measure of its own theme, but neighbours Tim and Nigel are soon succoured by their kinky doctor into complying with the sordid underworld in the biggest pile in the cul-de-sac.

Nigel loses his libido, and his wife, and discovers sexual arousal only in his violent dreams. Tim turns from new boy on the block to its most fanatical vigilante, while their women are sold into virtual slavery and they fight one another on the manicured lawns with hoes and hoses.

Director Maggie Inchley does a good job at keeping the laughter rate up, and the actors mix League of Gentlemen with Richard Briers in their delivery. But for all its agreeable darkness, the show’s a fairly insubstantial fifty odd minutes.


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