GAMBLE charms, entertains, and allows for plenty of embarrassing moments so the highly stigmatised and ‘capitalistic’ world of gambling addiction can be felt on the personal level it urgently needs.

Running 20 minutes late – there were technical issues in the Mercury Theatre’s smaller stage – the play began with Hannah Walker the narrator going from American to an a somewhat unintelligible accent.

Yet somehow it worked, like Hannah is the 'actor' of your friendship group telling her story, and the projected gambling graphics begun spinning and the play took off.  

With loads of energy and wit, Hannah’s version of herself played up her ego, vanity, and materialism, including a very funny pre-recorded montage of her shopping escapades in John Lewis.

These well-written comic scenes kept coming, with more bizarreness and 'singing', satirically critiquing our money-focused society and making you feel uneasy about spending creating suspense.

Gazette: Stigma - Hannah Walker said the main aim of show was to reduce the stigma around gambling addictionStigma - Hannah Walker said the main aim of show was to reduce the stigma around gambling addiction (Image: Newsquest/Submitted)

Another moment of adrenaline was when I, a volunteer, read out two pages of the script with a microphone due to the night’s technical difficulties.

But I projected my voice and tried not to laugh while the actors ate curry and fondled each other.

This silliness screeched to a stop the moment Hannah found out from her partner's smartphone that had also driven his online gambling addiction, a gut-wrenching scene to watch.

This was followed by the beautifully acted scene of Hannah the young mum severely in debt with her baby, an emotional and endearing climax in the hour-long play.

Referred to as the ‘hairy man’, Hannah’s lovingly depicted partner was sensitively included in the play, and it was frankly very satisfying to hear the creator speak in the post-show about why this was.

The post-show itself was also incredibly powerful and listening to the passion of the speakers and the audience’s experiences was an inspirational moment of group catharsis.

Hannah’s larger-than-life character, excessive swearing and gyrating included, broke down the barrier of stiffness making it a revelation to the way theatre can help people talk about taboos such as gambling addiction. 

To find out more about Hannah Walker’s campaign visit here, and to find out where to get help for gambling addiction visit here.