Tag Archives: Cam Harle

Two Super Super Hot Men

★★★★★

VAULT Festival 2020

Two Super Super Hot Men

Two Super Super Hot Men

Studio – The Vaults

Reviewed – 13th March 2020

★★★★★

 

“an award-worthy piece that is pointedly political while being warmly hilarious and wonderfully entertaining”

 

Climate change is one of the burning issues of the moment. Some protest to try to bring about global action while others deny it.

The very daft, but utterly engaging “Two Super Super Hot Men” is a small play asking big questions from the perspective of people who might not ordinarily expect to be concerned by its impact. This is drag king comedy with a conscience.

Saying as much in 50 minutes as David Attenborough has in dozens of TV documentaries over many years Alan and Ron (the clownish alter-egos of performers Rosa Garland and Alice Boyd) give a thought-provoking and extremely funny perspective on global warming, the dangers of being ill-informed (and of blaming everybody else in a crisis), and a plant called Carol.

It is a knowingly ridiculous take on the issue as the two geeky middle-aged foley artists stuck in a small UK studio provide the sound effects for documentaries about climate change and begin to experience the shocking realities of the problem for themselves. Butter becomes sand, milk goes off in a warm fridge, water turns into stones as the pair get involved in increasingly absurd offshoots of the seriously-voiced factual programme.

Ron (Garland) regularly makes good strong Yorkshire tea and removes a collection of gaudy Hawaiian shirts while commenting on how hot it is; Alan (Boyd) has an alarm go off on his watch when it is time to tend beloved plant Carol, with whom he develops an interesting relationship and finds leaves sprouting from parts of his own body.

The two performers (who are also artistic directors and writers of the project) don’t put a foot wrong playing the two well-observed men, sprinkling the show with some terrific examples of mime, clown-like buffoonery and a working relationship that is spot on, particularly in some fast-fire conversation gags.

The humour begins the moment the audience arrives with the pair asking members to give them something that will make an interesting sound, then one does something with the item close to a microphone. So we get jangling keys (“that could be soft rain”), an opening and closing wallet (“sounds like a bat taking wing”) and a crinkly sweet wrapper (“that has to be a small squirrel”). We are cleverly misdirected into the duo’s world where the presence of a universal threat to life can be comfortably ignored.

An oft-repeated mantra is “If I didn’t do it and I didn’t do it then what are we worrying about!” – the cry of thousands who think the environmental crisis is only happening elsewhere in the world or is just a problem to be tackled by the next generation.

This is an award-worthy piece that is pointedly political while being warmly hilarious and wonderfully entertaining. It will be playing at the Brighton Fringe in May but deserves to be seen in theatres big and small, in schools and on street corners.

It’s one of the best examples of how Fringe theatre can tackle a contemporary concern with comedy and devastating directness. Let’s hope Alan and Ron can shine similar light on other significant environmental concerns in the future.

 

Reviewed by David Guest

Photography by Cam Harle

 

VAULT Festival 2020

 

 

Click here to see all our reviews from VAULT Festival 2020

 

Cuttings
★★★½

Hope Theatre

Cuttings

Cuttings

Hope Theatre

Reviewed – 6th June 2019

★★★½

 

“wonderfully throws a humorous and uncomfortable mirror up to society’s failure to engender a sense of responsibility”

 

If you’ve never been to the Hope Theatre, I recommend you pay it a visit. Based in Islington and part of the pub-theatre tradition, it has a lovely, intimate theatre space; drawing the audience right into the action of any production. The staff, at the Hope are also incredibly friendly which only adds to the enjoyable ambience of the venue.

Written by Ollie George Clark, this play set about tackling the culture of ‘apology’ – or the failure to do it earnestly – in a very articulate and multifaceted way. It begins in a publicist’s office with staff frantically fire-fighting the damage caused by the colourful language of one their clients. We watch as their discussion of how to cultivate a heart-felt apology descends into sinister realms.

Many aspects of this production stood out – from the fine detail of the props such as the incredibly realistic newspaper articles and décor (Caitlin Abbott) to the female led cast, with Maisie Preston’s performance of Danica as a deeply insecure, happy go lucky intern, being of particular joy to watch. These roles are meaty and complex; with each character highlighting the different dynamics women have with each other and how they have to navigate that with the outside world – in this instance, the acting industry. The idea of race was also highlighted both within the play and aesthetically. It was really gratifying to see actress Natasha Patel (who plays Ruchi) on stage performing with savvy assuredness, Patel’s presence reflected both the importance of inclusivity of casting whilst simultaneously illuminating the lack of it within the industry.

Cuttings touches upon a very ripe and tender nerve about the way social media influences our everyday communication, and not always for the better. How YouTube beefs have now become newsworthy topics, how popularity trumps talent, the exploitative monetising of mental health and the unconventional rise of the insta-celeb which threatens the decorum of the well-oiled theatrical establishment.

When the simple act of apologising becomes an act of war; this play wonderfully throws a humorous and uncomfortable mirror up to society’s failure to engender a sense of responsibility.

 

Reviewed by Pippin

Photography by Cam Harle

 


Cuttings

VENUE until DATE (no year)

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Jericho’s Rose | ★★★½ | October 2018
Gilded Butterflies | ★★ | November 2018
Head-rot Holiday | ★★★★ | November 2018
Alternativity | ★★★★ | December 2018
In Conversation With Graham Norton | ★★★ | January 2019
The Ruffian On The Stair | ★★★★ | January 2019
Getting Over Everest | ★★★ | April 2019
Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story | ★★★★★ | April 2019
Uncle Vanya | ★★★★ | April 2019
True Colours | ★★★★ | May 2019

 

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