Good Cop, Bad Cop
By Primley Road Productions
Leicester Square Theatre
Leicester Square Theatre is one that I have never been to before. In the basement of this small theatre, I sat in front of a simple set of a table with three chairs – the table containing only a mug and a lamp and a filing cabinet with a fax machine and telephone on. A sign with the ‘L.A.P.D’ ‘s rules the force lived by also hung from the wall. This seemed all reminiscent of the typical Cop dramas we are used to seeing on TV and in Hollywood.
As the name suggests, Good Cop, Bad Cop is set within a interrogation room and undertakes the story of an older detective, Alan, joined by a young trainee, Jonathan on his first day, interrogating the suspected drug trafficker known as ‘Noah’ whose character goes by the name Joe – a hippy looking, down and out man.
L.A.P.D isn’t what we expect it to be. The London accent soon appears to announce it as the ‘Luton Airport Police Department’ and soon the hilarity in this illusion unfolds. Alan and Jonathan undertake the stereotypical scene of playing Good Cop and Bad Cop to try and lure the suspect into a confession. Alan as the older detective insists on his Good Cop nature despite seemingly being a ‘hard nut’. Jonathan, however is a timid and shy man who has no idea how to convincingly be tough and so his attempts forever become hilarious through clumsiness and sheer lack of confidence in his new persona.
Not only are these confused and unlikely characters thrown together to convincingly go around in circles such as a comedy routine would encourage, but Joe, our hippy suspected ‘drug lord’ soon speaks up to become, not only a little strange, but a well educated Oxford Graduate. This surprise in itself is humorous and provides a third party for the original characters to hilariously bounce off.
The relationship and understanding the actors have of one another and the writing proved to create a slick and well directed performance. At no point was a single actor not ‘on’ and even developed to combine both exaggerated movement and gestures with small actions and facial expressions. To combine both and still achieve audiences to belly laugh, in itself, is a achievement, showing how much of a substantial understanding of comedy this company has.