This is Naughty Corner Productions' sixth original show and is their largest cast to date. With hilarious goings on, fantastic yet to the point dialogue and a lot of physical/violent movement, this production must be seen to be believed.

Writer and director Mike Dickinson has created a fantastic piece of theatre that really delves in to certain aspects of life and it is great to this company is not scared to face these issues and bring them to their audiences’ attention.

Bob the Russian takes place during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia where the country has turned in to a rioting warzone with more hooligans and police than ever before. While everyone is engulfed in violence it seems the perfect opportunity for the English and Russians to work together and pull off the heist of the century. But all is not as it seems.

The story revolves around Bob, played by Adam Leyland, creating a gang to work together on an inside job. Leyland is perfect in the role, calm and collected when facing difficult situations yet very commanding when needs be.

Adam Nicholls as Lyles Larue steals the show, keeping the comedy running throughout even when times become violent or sad, that bit of comedy from Nicholls lightens what could be very dark scenes.

Riot starter ‘Demon’ is brought to life by the energetic Liam Powell-Berry who always wanting to start trouble and create a scene, Powell-Berry is fantastic at keeping the character going from beginning to end, even when other scenes are happening he is acting and reacting. Well done.

Posh boy ‘Inhaler’ is the brains of the operation and is played very convincingly by Callum Forbes, who also bring so much comedy to the role even with just the use of a comb.

‘Child’ played by Dan Hubbard is a wonderful, quite misunderstood character. Named so as he is young and innocent looking he can be used to get away with more. Hubbard brings a very grounded and real character in this very outgoing, violent show and draws you in with some great pieces of dialogue that makes you stop and think about what is right and wrong and why. Hubbard’s final scene is very touching and emotional and brings to life some terrible things are happening round the world every day. Good work.

Laura Connolly as Rita is a joy to watch. Extremely commanding in the role yet able to turn the charm on, flirting one minute and throwing herself around the stage, fighting the next.

Another fantastic character was Thomas Galashan as mafia leader ‘Friend Zain’. You got to see his violent side but when you get to witness his softer, personal side you realise how much he has already and still must go through in life just to be himself and not someone else.

Warren Kettle gave a fantastic performance as security guard Kevin and Faye Caddick and Megan Bond added to the comedy as receptionists Olga and Crute.

A standout for me was George Willis who delivered numerous roles, but a couple were hilarious without even talking, just a look or gesture. Thank you.

There is a lot of violence and fighting in this show and it is choreographed and executed perfectly. People were thrown around the stage and with the use of lighting and strobe it was extremely effective.

Scenery was very minimal but used so well, three screens on wheels were used as walls and were moved by cast to many positions to create new spaces and surround more intimate scenes creating more drama and suspense.

Lighting was used very well throughout, providing intensity and moods for huge riots to small intimate moments. The only thing I noticed was that there we no signs telling the audience that strobe/flashing lights would be used.

The energy of this whole cast is to be commended, every one of them giving their all to bring this piece to life and they fully deserved the standing ovation they received at the end.

A programme or flyer with cast information would have been helpful for review purposes but the cast board had names and character names so this helped in this instance.

Reviewer: Damian Riverol

Reviewed: 19th April 2018

North West End Rating: ★★★★