The Syndicate

Written by Kay Mellor, The Syndicate charts the story of five work colleagues, all down on their luck, until one day their numbers come up and they win £24 million between them on the ‘Mercury Millions’.  Everyone’s biggest dream, right?  Well, maybe winning big is not everything it’s cracked up to be.

You may remember the hit TV series of the same name which ran for four series between 2013 and 2021 giving us a glimpse into what would happen if a lottery win came your way.  The writing by Kay Mellor, who also gave us such incredible work as Fat Friends and Band of Gold, is very real.  All her characters are so relatable, and you can see yourself in each and every one of them. The subject matter here is so interesting because we’ve all dreamt of winning big and believing that our lives would be worry free haven’t we……of course we have!.  Mellor is able to demonstrate that the grass isn’t always greener and brings a large sense of realism to this stage production.

Directed by Mellor’s daughter, Gaynor Faye, the story flowed at a good pace, as we became invested in each character’s back story.  We meet Denise (Samantha Giles), the leader of the syndicate who has a sweet soul and big heart.  Jamie (Oliver Anthony) and Stuart (Benedict Shaw) are brothers who both work in the local shop, however both have very contrasting personalities.  Bob (William Ilkley) is the store manager who, due to his misfortune during a store robbery, makes a life changing discovery and Leanne (Rosa Coduri-Fulford) who garners a dark secret which means she is running from her past. 

Each and every cast member bought their individual character to life and gave sterling performances.  The dialogue is fast paced and delves us deeper and deeper into the psyche of each lottery winner.  Throughout the show it made me stop and think about the ramifications of winning such a vast amount of money and how I would cope.  Of course you have characters like Amy (Brooke Vincent), the wife of Stuart who becomes extremely materialistic and arrogant thinking she is the new Hyacinth Bucket, but on the flip side Denise just yearns for a simple life with a house full of dogs to look after.  I'd like to think I would be more like the latter!

Set and costume designer, Bretta Gerecke, transported us into the local shop which consisted of shelves adorned with produce, and during the second act, the palatial house rented by Stuart and Amy, with every fancy gadget known to man and of course, a chaise lounge!  There was no need for multiple scene changes as the action rarely moved from the shop and house.  This simple element worked very well.

This stage production is a light-hearted, easy watch with many moments of humour and emotion, whether that be excitement or despair, betrayal or joy.  Did I come out thinking I would go and buy a lottery ticket ‘just in case’……..well yes, because you never know, it might be you, however, be careful what you wish for as sometimes it’s not quite what you expect.

This show was reviewed on the 25th June 2024 at The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham where the show runs until the 29th June 2024.  Tickets available here: The Syndicate Tickets | The Alexandra, Birmingham in Birmingham | ATG Tickets

Full tour details available here: Book Now — The Syndicate (

Review written by Emma Rowley


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