Review: The Nap, starring Ben Schnetzer
In the latest British play to come to this side of the pond, Dylan Spokes, a fast rising snooker champion, is visited by authorities who warn him about the repercussions of match fixing. But before he knows it he finds himself involved in underhanded dealings with a colorful cast of characters who may not be who they say they are.
The Nap is a classic British farce, and is very entertaining thanks to its creative plot. The only requirement for enjoyment is a knowledge of British humor, or many of the jokes will fly right over your head. While those like myself may not know exactly what the meaning of the title is, all makes sense once it is revealed in the first act.
Split up in eight scenes that are spread over two acts, the first scene mostly provides context for the entire production and introduces us to most of the main characters. While long, the other two scenes of the act move quickly and it ends, quite literally, with a bang. The pace picks up when the second act begins. It's a ridiculously clever script, as you begin to think you know what will happen, but then turn out to be absolutely wrong.
The cast is all American, despite playing Brits in Sheffield, and are very much in sync, work as a unit which is best for the production. Ben Schnetzer (Dylan), and Heather Lind who plays Eleanor, the policewoman with an interesting background, have wonderful chemistry and the rapport between the two onstage feels quite natural.
The shows does an excellent job of making you sympathize with Dylan as he deals with various shady characters, all of whom claim to have is well-being in mind, only to be one hundred percent invested in their own interests.
Design wise, it's very well done. The sets move on and off stage in smooth scene transitions, accompanied by music and lighting changes that help set the mood for the following scene. The costumes feel correct for the setting and it makes the production feel put together and clean.
You don't need to be a snooker expert to enjoy The Nap, anyone who is a fan of British humor will find themselves enjoying the story and the live snooker.