Celebrity chef cooks up an apocalyptic stew... Betts shrewdly reminds us that fame offers no insulation against misfortune... Having started with a specific target, Betts ends up tackling the explosion of the nuclear family and the decline and fall of the middle classes...
MICHAEL BILLINGTON, GUARDIAN
A delicious night out with plenty of food for thought.
REVIEWS HUB ★★★★
Monogamy is a good play... The comedy simmers... Deserves a much wider audience.
DAILY MAIL ★★★★
Unforgettable actors... Something special. I laughed heartily.
THE NEW EUROPEAN ★★★★
Betts paints a wonderfully lurid picture of the middle classes, juxtaposed with the fragility of those who serve them... Janie Dee is superb...delivers a meticulously observed study of a woman on the edge of a breakdown.
Monogamy at Park Theatre is a sharp, incisive comedy, that smartly combines elements of farce with social commentary to reach a shocking crescendo at its finale... Janie Dee proves yet again that she is one of the greatest talents working in British theatre today – she creates a role that is so believable and so compelling... It is an acerbic, often laugh-out-loud take on marriage, privilege and class, and it is well worth a ticket to see the ending alone, because reader, I gasped.
WEST END WILMA ★★★★
Monogamy is so much more than meets the eye. It’s a riot that, for however many twisted reasons, will leave you beaming from ear-to-ear.
YOUNGER THEATRE ★★★★
A razor sharp domestic comedy.
REMOTE GOAT ★★★★★
The hell behind the haute cuisine... Torben Betts’ dialogue is masterful, frequently rattled off at machine-gun pace with characters sometimes talking across each other rather than to each other... Like all fine drama, it takes a surgical knife to human nature...It is a bold piece of theatre, which vividly entertains.
Torben Betts' writing is fantastic. His characters are all fully fleshed and complex. He structures the play perfectly – it’s definitely one of the most well-written plays I’ve seen in a long time. I would highly recommend this play! It gives a great insight into life behind the camera, features some of the greatest performances I’ve seen for a long time and at the centre of it all is a truly fantastic script.
NORTH WEST END ★★★★★
A thoroughly enjoyable play which had all the audience still chuckling as we left the theatre – a good sign of a great piece of entertainment.
FAIRY POWERED PRODUCTIONS
Funny and farcical. And hugely entertaining.
THE BESPOKE BLACK BOOK
With a taught, tightly-written script and impeccably sharply-directed Caroline's Kitchen represents a fabulously satisfying feast for fans of the family feud-themed fracas – and plenty of food for thought for all.
THE BATH MAGAZINE
Left me wiping away tears of laughter.
Caroline’s Kitchen is a delightful and enjoyable production. The pacing is well executed by the actors, guided by Alastair Whatley. The play develops with irony, elasticity and logic to a fine, memorable conclusion.
...a classic example of British slapstick humor – a kind of hellzapoppin’ farcical pastiche, replete with mistaken identities, bumbling husbands, sexual revelations.
A SEAT ON THE AISLE
Betts is capable of having the audience guffawing at a particular revelation followed immediately by an intensely poignant moment... a real feast... an excellent evening’s entertainment with an unexpected ending.
BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE ★★★★
Pacy and punchy, Caroline’s Kitchen exudes energy and comes up with the laughs… The acting is superb.
EAST ANGLIAN DAILY TIMES
At one point, the whole audience erupted in laughter, which was lovely to hear... It is not what you expect and yet it is everything you perhaps should expect in this crazy world we live in. Be kind to each other. That is the message.
Caroline’s Kitchen is a joy, it’s heartfelt, it’s funny and it’s poignant.
A satisfying dish.
A farce with plenty of light and shade, loads of heart and some cracking one-liners... Worth a watch!
PLUS ONE CHRONICLES
Betts is a vibrant force in contemporary theatre... The evening combines satire, black comedy, and straightforward humour in equal measure. A suitably climactic ending was greeted with enthusiastic applause from a very well-attended opening night which augurs well for the tour. If you don’t have a ticket yet – why not?
BEHIND THE ARRAS ****
Recommended. Raise a glass to Monogamy, the satirical feast cooking up a storm in Park200.
Tension bubbles throughout this searing piece of satire that charts the disintegration of famous TV chef and mother...With themes of religion, sexuality, depression and addiction, writer Torben Betts builds his story’s intensity with expert control...A mix of kitchen sink realism with a pinch of black humour and a bit of Tarantino thrown in for good measure, Monogamy is sure to leave audiences on a knife-edge throughout.
THE UPPER CIRCLE ★★★★
Monogamy plates up a darkly comic state of the nation play... In doing so, this piece offers a variety of reasons for why England might have a sore stomach. Monogamy elicits a series of different tastes and in its blend of tones between serious issues and light relief, garnished by a delectable cast, it certainly left me full.
LONDON STUDENT CO-OP ★★★★
Torben Betts has a deft way of writing biting satire, occasionally touched with the complete absurd, which offers a devastating take down of the world in which we live today.
Leo, played to punchable perfection by Jack Archer, is a bracing sketch of how genuine grievance can happily coexist with sneery sanctimony... as is Patrick Ryecart, whose eye-bulging performance as golf-playing banker Mike is an unhinged delight.
A play worth sinking your teeth into.
Janie Dee is excellent.
Makes you laugh when you really think you shouldn’t... it’s hilarious.
JENNI MURRAY WOMAN'S HOUR
Torben Betts has certainly sharpened his quill with this merciless satire on the telly chefs industry... With dialogue that has even more cutting edge than one of Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen knives, we are lifted out of the television fantasy machine and dropped headlong into a thick stew of relationship breakdown that’s about to boil over at any moment... his cleverly constructed dramas hold the audience right up and until the final curtain.
Mix a strong, quality cast together, provide them with the opportunity - the roles, the ingredients - to make the most of a brand new comedy from one of our fresh, leading playwrights of the modern era, and you have that sweet smell of success. Sit back to enjoy and be fully entertained. Baked to perfection!
Betts’ writing is both witty and direct, dealing with a wide variety of issues in a succinct but knowing way... Monogamy is extremely fast-paced and whisks through conflicts and confrontations with impressive speed and confidence. Betts does well to set the stage for a classic Miller-esque state of nation, family home drama.
A plate full of belly laughs.
FAIRY POWERED PRODUCTIONS ★★★★
A new adult, dark comedy from the talented Torben Betts.
ASTON ABBOTS CHRONICLE ★★★★
Guildford theatre-goers should feel privileged to see such an innovative and thought-
provoking play so early in its gestation...a parable for our times.
The play is witty and sharp, with lots of clever laugh out loud lines especially with Patrick Ryecart giving a brilliant portrayal of Caroline’s very un-PC husband Mike.
UK THEATRE NETWORK
Fantastically acted and really well put together.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Patrick Ryecart is just plain hilarious, from his bristling ginger eyebrows to his ramblingly explosive anecdotes about the glory of golf and his choleric outbursts about “homosexual bolshevist vegetarians” and his theory that ‘vegetarian’ is Neolithic language for “shit at hunting’. Every scene he is in lights up.
LIBBY PURVES, THEATRE CAT
So enjoyed Monogamy. Many huge belly laughs and slow steady chortling. Wonderful work by the company and creatives. Very, very funny. It's very brave what Torben Betts is doing.
Black as hell and very, very funny.
Monogamy in three words? Hilarious, hilarious and hilarious.
HANNAH INES FLINT
I loved this last night! I howled with laughter. Wonderful cast, Janie Dee is a maestro. Very clever writing.
A truly original, black and uproariously funny piece.
TOM READ WILSON