Before Long Leave, the Caccia Studio hosted JDM’s rendition of Dealer’s Choice. The comedy, written by Patrick Marber in 1995, was directed by George Chilcott and explores the heady anticipation of a poker game.
We follow Mugsy (Tristan Betts), a waiter in a small restaurant with plans to open an establishment of his own in an abandoned toilet in Mile End with Carl (Harry Matthews). Mugsy does not have any money as he keeps losing it at poker games. He encounters Ash (Tom Keating), a poker professional and associate of Carl’s. Since the group are one man short of their usual game, Ash is invited to join under the guise that he is an old teacher of Carl’s. Ash gradually wins all the money, explaining his success as simple ‘beginner’s luck’ and nimbly eliminating a few players in the process. The game ends with Mugsy as destitute as always, and Ash flush with his winnings.
Despite the play carrying a deep and powerful message about nature of gambling and its potentially harmful consequences, the high energy of the dialogue and excellent acting standard helped to maintain the comedic aspect of the play. This, coupled with some very intriguing dance numbers (to the audience’s surprise!), made the JDM House play a hugely enjoyable watch. Credit must go to all the actors involved for a great performance.