By Lucy Powell
Alex found his true home at the
Telegraph fifteen years ago, and continues to delight his readers with
pinstriped profundities on life as an unabashed investment banker.
On stage, Robert Bathurst embodies him superbly, flexing the beleaguered,
status-obsessed toff muscle that he used to such winning effect as David in Cold
Feet. Rough cut, black-and-white animation from Alex’s creators Charles Peattie
and Russell Taylor supply the set and additional characters on a series of
screens: his clients, his Eurotrash graduate trainee, his timorous chum, the
moustached Megabank boss Rupert and, last and unstintingly least, Penny, the
archetypal City widow.
The plot rattles off at machine gun speed,
punch lines peppering every disastrous twist and turn. There’s a nagging sense
that Alex’s potency as a satiric device has worn thin after twenty years of
unearned Christmas bonuses. Peattie and Taylor themselves cast a show-down
between him and Rupert as a tussle between two besuited dinosaurs. …. it is
flawless comedy. Bathurst delivers his stream of expertly sculpted, wincingly
accurate gags with unflagging, effortless panache.