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Treats Press Reviews

Now Billie Gives Stage Fans A Treat | Swindon Advertiser
She had a number one hit aged 15, has won numerous awards for her TV acting . . . and now Swindon's Billie Piper is taking the stage by storm too.
The multi-talented Ms Piper last night made her stage debut in Treats, a love triangle drama also starring real-life boyfriend Laurence Fox, along with Kris Marshall (Nick Harper in the BBC series My Family).
All were excellent in the three-hander, which has Billie as journalist Ann torn between her nice, but dull rebound romance with Patrick (Fox) and charismatic but cruel ex Dave, recently back from abroad and determined to win her back.
It's testimony to her acting skills that you wouldn't have guessed Fox was her real-life passion (they reportedly got close during rehearsals) as she had a great chemistry with her other co-star too. It was no more Mr Nice Guy for Marshall, whose cruel wit and menace was underpinned by insecurity.
In an insightful and often very funny play, Billie showed she can cut it on stage. And, knowing her real-life romantic track record of tending to choose with her heart rather than her head, did a great job of keeping us guessing just who would get the girl.
Unwrapping A Pandora's Box Of Emotions | Hereford Times 01/02/2007

The curtain has been restyled to represent a massive gift box, complete with a ribbon on top, but what lies inside it as Christopher Hampton's bleak, yet edgily funny three-hander, Treats, unfolds on the Malvern Theatres stage is anything but a box of delights for its characters.

Ann, played in her stage debut by Billie Piper, has decisively ended her relationship with the bullying but charismatic Dave (Kris Marshall) and moved Patrick (Laurence Fox), the office bore, in to her flat and her bed in his place.

But Dave doesn't do rejection and is determined to win her back, giving free rein to his cruelty in the attempt.

Two, as they say, is company and three a crowd, and in this exploration of destructive relationships, Ann ultimately has to make a decision because no triangle really is eternal.

Best-known for playing Rose Tyler, Doctor Who's companion, Billie Piper certainly proves her ability to inhabit a very different persona in Treats, and there were moments when the passion of her performance felt raw and real, offering a tantalising glimpse of what she can - and almost certainly will - do.

Whether it's the play itself - Ann's part, though pivotal, is less developed than Dave or Patrick's - or that her experience has so far been on the screen rather than the stage, but at other moments she seemed disconnected from both relationships, not quite sure where to put herself.

More convincing and engaging was the interaction between the two men in Ann's life, with Laurence Fox giving a beautifully judged performance of dignified confusion and Kris Marshall making the articulate, clever and wounding Dave credibly and dangerously attractive.

Treats runs at Malvern Theatres until Saturday, February 3. Call the box office on 01684 892277.

Not quite the treat | Bromsgrove Advertiser 31/01/2007

Review: Treats, at the Festival Theatre, Malvern.

TAKING their seats before this stumbling comedy begins the audience is greeted by the sight of a giant-sized ribbon wrapped gift box, taking not only centre stage - but all of the stage.

Now gift boxes usually contain pleasant surprises - more often than not a real treat for the recipient/s. But sadly Treats fails to deliver all the anticipated pleasures, and I wasn't alone in my thoughts judging by a number of comments overheard as first night theatre-goers headed home.

Basically the story is that of a present day love-triangle involving the excellent Kris Marshall as Dan, a womanising newspaper reporter; Ann (Billie Piper), in whose flat the entire action takes place; and Patrick (Laurence Fox), the office bore, who has incredibly usurped Dan's place in Ann's love-life and flat, more or less on the rebound, while he has been away in Iraq.

Christopher Hampton's story is of relationships, good and bad, as well as self-esteem and personal confidence. It has its good moments and it's well acted by the trio who were quite convincing in their relative roles, but I found the pace tedious and the constant up and down of the front of the gift box' to reveal such minute changes of set was sheer irritation.

A trio of well known names and faces, the cast has attracted considerable audience interest - especially Billie Piper, who will make her West End debut in this production later this year after it has trailed round a number of select venues.

Stylish enough to win more stage roles. in spite of a couple of giggle interludes.