Saturday, April 16, 2011

I saw the most gorgeous little show last night. A Fistful of Mondays by a chap called Joe Graham.

It's a stupid enough story. Poor heartbroken Annie is eking out a meagre existence by dragging her ghetto blaster from downtrodden community centre to shabby ill-frequented pub, teaching fools to line dance. Poor heartbroken Tom sits night after night in one of these aforementioned ill-frequented pubs, reading an astonishing array of literature and unchallenging magazines but refusing to seize life by the metaphorical horns. Barry tends to this ill-frequented pub, eking out his existence with an enduring grumble about how little his customers drink.

And alongside these delicious characters, we have a motley crue of poncho man, gay tap dancer, toothless crone, frustrated (female) lecher and flightly (female) fool, all finding who knows what fulfilment from their weekly achy breaky sessions.

It had all the potential to be dreadful. A kind of Rent without any of the "edgy" (and I use the inverted commas advisedly) themes that make this show half interesting. A step up from a suburban comedy as it was located not in a living room but a dingy pub. But a half step as far as my theatrical preferences go.

But in actual fact, charming. Charming. Charming.

The script was surprisingly entertaining - you know, in bits - let's not go overboard here.

The set was very nicely done and it was actually beautifully lit.

But the acting saved a potentially mediocre thing from fulfilling all of its only just about average potential. As it was lovely.

Well, I'm biased a bit. Cari was Annie. And who'd have thought that you'd end up caring so much about the slightly predatory line dancing teacher? But she had such a lovely soulful wistfulness that you cared enormously about whether or not she managed to work things out with the socially inept Tom.

Tom was a newbie (to me, anyway). And did a brilliant line in seeming like The Most Unprepossessing Man In The World as he slouched over his bar stool with his scrappy Betterware catalogue. But when he straightened up his shoulders and smiled, you wanted to give him a big huge hug and wish him all the luck in the world. So it became desperately important that they worked out their differences.

Barman Barry was suitably anonymous - not a back story in sight - but did his grumbling shambling shoving of the two wishing-they-were-lovebirds together with a lovely light but heartfelt touch.

And Mr Farrimond did a great line in pretending to be gay.

A delight of a show. Rounded off with an ensemble dance. Mirrorball, cowboy hats n'all.

I would urge you to rush to see it. But I think they're sold out for tonight.

Very big (cowboy) hats off to them all.


Blogger imw said...

Excellent review. You must have stayed awake throughout.

8:53 am  
Blogger claire said...

That, of course, is the greatest tribute to the show of all.

I went to the cinema last night through an accidental twist of fate. We were sat two rows from the front with the sound as loud as it always is in the cinema.

And I still managed to nap.

I'm certain I have narcolepsy.

1:19 pm  
Blogger Neil said...

It helped of course that they had Holling Vincoeur working behind the bar. I thought it was ace.

1:02 pm  

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