Poster for The Syndicate stage show

Theatre Review: The Syndicate at Norwich Theatre Royal

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This week The Syndicate has come to Norwich Theatre Royal as part of the UK tour! We got to see the one of the first shows; read on to find out what we thought!

About the show

Based on her hit BBC TV series that entertained millions of viewers over four series, The Syndicate is a new comedy drama by the legendary Kay Mellor.

Starring Emmerdale’s Samantha Giles, Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent and TV favourite, Gaynor Faye, who also directs, The Syndicate follows five supermarket employees whose lottery syndicate numbers come in, just as their jobs and livelihoods are under threat.

Will a share of the £24million jackpot make their dreams come true or their nightmares a reality? One thing’s for certain, the win of a lifetime will change the lives, loves and relationships of all the syndicate members… for ever.

Following on from the huge success of her other stage adaptations; ‘Band of Gold’ and Fat Friends’, The Syndicate marks the world premiere of Kay Mellor’s final stage play, which once again demonstrates Kay’s unparalleled ability to make us laugh, cry and above all entertain, with her wonderful characters and stories.

Cast members pose at the world premiere of Kay Mellor’s final stage play, The Syndicate which tours the UK until 27 July. 
Bringing three generations of the Mellor family together, The Syndicate sees Kay’s daughter Gaynor Faye making her directorial debut, as well as starring alongside her son Oliver Anthony. The star cast also includes Brooke Vincent (Coronation Street) and Samantha Giles (Emmerdale).
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Did we enjoy the show?

I love a show I don’t know much about beforehand, and that was the case with The Syndicate. All I knew, basically, was that it was about a group who won the lottery but nothing else. This is Kay Mellor’s last stage play and is directed by her daughter, Gaynor Faye (who also has a part).

I really enjoyed the drama of the story and it wasn’t something I was necessarily expecting. Instead of being a happy story about a group who win a lottery syndicate, there’s so much more going on.

Cast of The Syndicate in a scene in the shop

The story really gets into the backgrounds of the characters, fleshes the out and make them into people you can really relate to. This might be because of money worries, relationship problems, friendships or family issues. There was something different about all of the characters but they gelled well together as a group of colleagues and friends.

I’m sure we’ve all thought about what we would do if we won the lottery. I know I have. Everyone would react to the news different, do different things with their lives and cope with it in different ways. The Syndicate really shows that even winning the lottery won’t change everything for the better and it’s what you do with your life that counts.

Cast and characters

The Syndicate has got a fantastic cast so there’s no surprise that they were all amazing. There are some great names in the cast, such as Gaynor Faye, Samantha Giles and Brooke Vincent who many of us will know from Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Benedict Shaw was fantastic as the troubled Stuart. He’s having a bit of a rough time, broke and has just welcomed a new baby. His character was a real contrast to his brother Jamie. One has a strong conscience while the other doesn’t care what happens or who it happens to as long as he’s okay. Shaw’s performance was really powerful, clearing showing his struggle with the events that unfold during the play.

Brooke Vincent was a stand out for me, although not one of the main roles. She was utterly fantastic as Amy, the sort of gold digging girlfriend. She was full of sass and attitude, complete with hair flips and a Juicy Couture tracksuit.

Scene from The Syndicate

The set

With only a few different locations throughout the duration of the show, the space is used really well. The shop setting is split up into different areas such as a staff room, the office and the shop floor, while also being able to be changed into a hospital when needed! There are some great little details that have been added such as a CCTV screen and a health and safety notice in the staff room!

I thoroughly enjoyed The Syndicate. There is a great mix of drama and comedy, and you’ll soon find yourself thinking about what you would do if you had the money!

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