Gym & Tonic: Review


Have you ever found it hard to keep your cool and discover your true inner zen?

Gym & Tonic is utterly hilarious! A twist on gin & tonic, the gym is the sober remedy the cast need to de-stress, relax and unwind. 

 Gym & Tonic. Credit: Ant Robling @ Robling Photography
Gym & Tonic. Credit: Ant Robling @ Robling Photography

John Godber’s comedy focuses on how we find a moment of calm in the most challenging times, even in the most peaceful, (rather pricey), environments.

We follow Don (Peter McMillan), and his wife Shirley (Stephanie Hackett), who venture to Scardale Hall Health Farm attempt to de-stress and hopefully mend their slowly failing marriage.

 Gym & Tonic. Credit: Ant Robling @ Robling Photography
Gym & Tonic. Credit: Ant Robling @ Robling Photography

The New Vic’s in-the-round space provides a great view for all audience members, we are able to see each and every emotion of all cast members.

Scardale Hall Health Farm offers endless luxurious treatments supplied by Cloe (also played by Stephanie Hackett) who starts to loose her cool.

The appearance of the spa is left to our imagination with a minimal set.

Spa regulars, Keith (Robert Angell) and highly opinionated pensioner Gertrude Tate (Jaqueline Naylor) are the great voices of reason towards Shirley and Don’s relationship in true Godber comical style.

I loved how eccentric Gertrude is, providing moments of laughter during moments of stress between the couple.

The audience were howling in laughter when Don experienced his first ever massage. The total awkwardness between him and Cloe is hilarious, especially when she asks him to undress!

Don was my favourite character – comical yet complex, it is clear something is troubling him and that’s why he struggles to relax.

John Godber clearly presents relationship issues in a light-hearted way through Shirley and Don: maintaining the spark and the importance of communication, especially when it comes to feelings and emotions.

The underlying topic of mental health is portrayed really well through Don.

Godber enforces just how important it is to take care of your mental health and well being in this fantastic light-hearted comedy that is Gym & Tonic.

Gym and Tonic is at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle Under Lyme from 5 – 9 November 2019. For details call 01782 717962 or visit


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