Pleasance Theatre (studio)
02 February 2026 (released)
04 February 2024
As renowned funnyman and sometime English Supreme Court judge Lord Denning once sagaciously japed: “the law is the law, even when the law is an ass”. Given the farcical goings on in the court battle between Gwyneth Paltrow and Dr Jerry Sanderson - as gleefully exposed here in Awkward Productions’ Gwyneth Goes Skiing - one can only agree.
Linus Karp and Joseph Martin’s latest outing has peaked the interest on both sides of the Atlantic. Quite why Ryan Murphy didn’t pick its topic matter for his next series of Feud is unknown but, in Karp and Martin’s hands, it is now an undeniable camp classic.
In 2016, Sanderson and Paltrow collided at Deer Park ski slope. It was for both, in a literal and metaphorical sense, all downhill from there. Each blamed the other with the optometrist demanding $3m from the Hollywood star before asking for a mere $300k. In turn, the Oscar winner counter-sued for $1 plus the cost of her not-insubstantial legal fees.
Awkward Productions already have form when it comes to co-opting the stories of real-life figures. Their Untrue Diana (which returns later this year) is a semi-fictional account of the People Princess’ life which ends with her speaking to the audience from heaven. The new show has many of the same hallmarks: audience members are co-opted to come on stage or play roles from their seats, characters are realised through videos or cardboard cutouts and the writing goes from riotous whimsy to biting satire with an avalanche of pop culture references peppered in between.
The set and props may look cheap but the riches are in a script replete with sight gags, running jokes, knowing pokes and ribald pops at both Paltrow and Sanderson. The former is portrayed by Karp as a self-obsessed (“I’m gwinning!”) wannabe-entrepreneur whose Goop empire rolls out ever more ridiculous products. Martin is a hoot as Sanderson (a man who is definitely not an optician but is out to get all he can from his suit) and, via some deft puppet work, Sanderson’s lawyer. The mockery laid upon all three is based on fact and superbly realised.
Gwyneth Goes Skiing continues until 16 February.
Photo credit: Jonny Ruff