The cast of The Syndicate - Photo courtesy Norwich Theatre

We’ve all fantasised about it: but would winning the lottery really change your life?

The Syndicate focuses on five shop workers who scoop a rollover jackpot, interrupting the usual story of their lives – but not always in an entirely positive way.

This play is based on the BBC TV series by Kay Mellor, which rans for five series. The production, taken over by Mellor’s daughter Gaynor Faye after the writer’s death in 2022 also features her grandson Oliver Anthony.

The script is packed with laughs, not least from plain speaking shop assistant Denise’s running commentary on events – Samantha Giles is great in this role, both as the dowdy dog-loving old woman and her slightly more fabulous version after their numbers come up.

The main focus though is Benedict Shaw as assistant shop manager Stuart, who together with his younger brother Jamie (played by Anthony) make an ill-fated plan shortly before the lottery win, with the ramifications lasting long after the big cheque arrives.

Shaw’s characterisation relies a little too heavily on his man’s health defects but he makes for a likeable enough lead, in sharp contrast to his wildboy sibling. Anthony is entertainingly awful, both as the penniless shop boy and Lambo-driving millionaire – yet we still feel a slight tinge of sympathy for him.

Faye herself is a little underused as lottery advisor Kay, but does help expose their inner lives with her less than Instagram worthy interviews, and insistence on lottery procedural rules that open up some wedges between syndicate members.

The production design does the job without being showy, with the focus really on Mellor’s writing and an entertaining ensemble performance. The backstory for Leanne (Rosa Coduri-Fulford) is slightly underplayed, and disturbs the plot’s otherwise fairly traditional moral code – perhaps a wry illustration of how differently we view money and people.

Overall it’s an entertaining two hours with lots of good jokes and enough depth to tug at the heartstrings without being overly harrowing. If you’re not sure about going, I’d say it’s worth a gamble.