Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Lakeside Arts Centre)

We are in Nottingham on a Saturday night in 1958 and a young man is getting wasted and falling down a flight of stairs. (Some things never change hey?) The anti-hero of the piece, Arthur Seaton, works six days a week at the Raleigh bike factory and spices up his weekends with drinking competitions and other people’s wives.

Adapted from Alan Sillitoe’s novel, the play takes place in a drab and conformist post-war Britain. An iconic ‘Angry Young Man’, Arthur’s boozing and to-hell-with-’em attitude are an attempt to escape the confinements of family, work and ever-worsening romantic entanglements. He’s cocky that his luck will see him through, but at what cost to those around him? And what happens when his luck runs out?

A confident production whose quick pace and juke-box soundtrack create a lively tone and raucous spirit. Although lacking the scope of the novel, it tackles the story’s darker elements and captures Arthur as both loveable cad and selfish philanderer. While fundamentally bleak, Arthur’s wryly amused perspective on the action creates a light tone. A rare opportunity to see a play set in our own dear Notts, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is both relevant and entertaining.

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