Review: A Big Day for the Goldbergs

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Leeds Carriageworks

Woody Allen managed to raise more than a few smiles, welcoming everyone into his humour while remaining resolutely Jewish. His work is a lesson that in telling the minutiae you can sometimes touch on the universal.

Brian Daniels, in A Big Day for the Goldbergs, mines the minutiae of growing up in the Jewish community of Leeds, while only ever gently touching on the aspects that would have turned this into a universal piece of work.

What began as a solo piece in 2010, has expanded to a three hander that brings onto the stage two generations of the Goldberg family, mother and two daughters.

We have the youngest daughter, played by Michelle Ghattan, who is intent on running away to join the circus, then there is Lizzie Carter Fox playing the altogether more sensible, more level-headed, more – we are told – Jewish girl. She is happy to marry into money and her mother, played by Annie Sawle, is delighted at the decision.

Directed by Gareth Tudor Price in the small studio space of the Carriageworks, the major problem with the script is that it lacks drama – there is conflict, but the moment the mother accepts – albeit with terse lips – her wayward younger daughter’s lesbianism, then the bomb has gone off – and without a great explosion.

Tudor-Price does what he can with the space, small though it is, although the actors need perhaps to be reminded that they are only filling a small studio with their voices.

To July 28.

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