Alex City Quiz Alex Prints and Originals

The Sunday Times
October 28th 2007
By Christopher Hart

After 20 years or so as a cartoon strip in The Daily Telegraph, Alex Masterley, the insensitive City boy we all love to hate, takes to the stage in his very own show. The result is not only blissfully funny but also imaginatively staged by Phelim McDermott. Alex himself is perfectly played by Robert Bathurst, with lazy drawl and smug smile, but the virtuoso Bathurst also voices every other character, each appearing as roughly animated cartoons on screens around him. There is Clive, Alex’s permanently blushing and put-upon colleague; Penny, his poor wife; and Mr Hardcastle, the Yorkshire business tycoon who owns a “widget factory” or something, where he actually still makes things, Alex says in bafflement – “And he’s not even Chinese.” As in the strip, Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor’s sallies are smart and topical, but there is also neat characterisation and a proper plot, with Hardcastle’s business at the heart of it. City boys will enjoy it as much as anybody.