Review: Blue on Blue (Tristan Bates Theatre) JohnnyFox April 24, 2016 Reviews, Theatre Some of the funniest dialogue comes from the mouths of bitter or resentful characters: the late lamented Victoria Wood knew that, and in crisp and dry three-hander Blue on Blue we meet two who are fully entitled to their well-shouldered chips. Unlike snowboarding sportsman and actor Darren Swift who became disabled in far more heroic circumstances, wheelchair-dependent Moss has his lower limbs blown away seventeen days into his tour of duty in a mortar launch by careless Americans in Afghanistan. He’s in a mutually sarcastic symbiotic relationship with ‘sort-of-nephew’ scally Carver played hesitantly by Daniel Gentely although whether that’s unfamiliarity with the script or deliberately laconic direction by Harry Burton is hard to tell. Carver – see what they did there – is an occasional self harmer by knife to his legs. Getting him sectioned to a secure mental facility clears the way for Moss to resume relations with home help Marta whose soapy interventions make bathtime, for those who remember the bubble bath brand, positively Matey. The characters played by Swift and Gentely could so easily have an extended life: either a second play if Chips Hardy prefers, or an entire sitcom based on their dysfunctional co-dependency. Steptoe and Son started with less. Belgian actress Ida Bonnast looks a bit like the young Joanna Lumley and plays Hungarian Marta as a feisty kook but her role makes the least sense and she’s the classic Pinteresque outsider interposed to cause friction between the resident pair, and maybe needs her own personal narrative. Still, crackling dialogue and considerable hilarity make for a brisk 80 minutes. Emmett de Monterey’s minimalist council-flat set is a beer-stained haiku to chavvy home décor right down to the Sports Direct wall clock, and the sight gag of the coffee mug with the C-word handle is priceless.