Tag Archives: Edward Hole

Say My Name! – 3 Stars


Say My Name!

Theatre N16

Reviewed – 16th October 2018


“largely makes up for its shortfalls in this area with a brand of irreverent comedy that’s deeply alluring”


It’s more or less unanimously agreed that Breaking Bad is one of the greatest TV series of all time, spanning 62 hours of nigh-on flawless storytelling, writing, and acting. So it’s an unenviable job to adapt that into a 90-minute musical comedy, but it’s one that Rob Gathercole (writer, composer and lyricist) has undertaken. Somewhat surprisingly, the Herculean task pays off overall.

Say My Name! follows the story of its source material; that of Walter White, a chemistry teacher who, upon being diagnosed with cancer, teams up with Jesse Pinkman to cook crystal meth and ultimately raise and lose a drug empire. However, if you haven’t already seen Breaking Bad, most of the plot will make little sense as it’s all skimmed over so quickly. Despite dedicating the entire opening song to exposition, it still comes across as muddy, and the show takes a little while to find its groove. As a result of this, Walter is introduced without any sort of understanding of what’s really motivating him, which does a disservice to the story and allows for very little payoff at the show’s end. Thankfully, Say My Name! largely makes up for its shortfalls in this area with a brand of irreverent comedy that’s deeply alluring.

Deftly sending up the characters and their exploits, the humour is gleefully inane and self-referential. Particular highlights include covering the entire third season in a single song, depicting a train robbery as a silent film, and Walter’s son being a cockney puppet – creative staging choices such as these generated immense laughter and allowed the show to jump out from the shadow of the source material. Most of the actors also managed to amplify the essence of their characters to near pantomimic levels to excellent effect, especially Scott Brooks as drug enforcement agent Hank and henchman Mike, and Rebecca Levy as Jesse and Hank’s wife Marie. However, certain characters such as the neurotic Lydia felt like they were overplayed and subsequently fell flat in their delivery.

The songs are also played by the cast and cover a huge range of styles and timbres, from rap to country to swing, and were all sung and performed marvellously. However, many of the songs felt underdeveloped, often being quite short and repetitious in their lyrics. Additionally, some motifs featured a cumbersome number of reprises that did not feel like they were adding any further layers to their meanings.

Consequently, Say My Name! often feels at odds with the show it’s trying to parody, buckling under the weight of the sheer amount of plot that it’s trying to condense. The opportunities for songs and scenes to explore characters and allow comic situations to play out more fully falls to the wayside in favour of continued exposition, but in the moments where the show leans into its more absurd humour, it manages to transcend being just a Breaking Bad parody into something much more addictive.


Reviewed by Tom Francis

Photography by Rob Gathercole


Say My Name!

Theatre N16 until 2nd November


Previously reviewed at Theatre N16:
Unicorn | ★★★½ | May 2018
Shakespeare’s Mad Women | ★★★★ | June 2018
Reading Gaol | ★★★½ | July 2018
Castles Palaces Castles | ★★ | September 2018
Rough | ★★ | September 2018
Timeless | ★★★ | October 2018


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com



Fantastic Mr Fox


Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Curve and Lyric Hammersmith have announced that, following a successful UK tour, their production of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox will return for a second run at Lyric Hammersmith this summer. The production, adapted for the stage by Sam Holcroft, directed by Maria Aberg with original music by Arthur Darvill, runs at the Lyric Hammersmith from 26 July to 20 August, after it completes its national tour.


Fantastic Mr Fox at Nuffield Southampton Theatres. Jade Croot (Kit), Greg Barnett (Mr Fox) and Lillie Flynn (Mrs Fox). Photo by Manuel Harlan

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Sam Hodges said; 

“I am very pleased that our hit production of Fantastic Mr Fox is coming back to London, following the last sell-out run. This is a terrific adaptation of a special story and this return to the Lyric marks a well-deserved finale to a successful tour.”

In a joint statement Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said;

“We are thrilled that even more families and young people will be able to experience our successful co-production of Fantastic Mr Fox. Audiences across the country and internationally have all had a wonderful time watching this ‘fantastic’ Roald Dahl classic be brought to life live on stage.”

Artistic Director of Lyric Hammersmith, Sean Holmes, said;

“We are delighted to welcome back Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox after its sell-out success here at the Lyric earlier this year. A great treat for all the family this summer”


“You know as well as I do: no-one outfoxes a fox!”

Boggis, Bunce and Bean, three greedy, smelly, horrid farmers hate the cunning Mr Fox.

Mr Fox is smart, clever and rather fantastic, but he doesn’t realise how determined the farmers are to get revenge. Can he hatch a plan to save his family and friends? Can they outrun the diggers and outsmart the farmers, and can rabbit shut up long enough not to give the game away?


Fantastic Mr Fox at Nuffield Southampton Theatres. Greg Barnett (Mr-Fox). Photo-credit-Manuel-Harlan.jpg. Photo by Manuel Harlan

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox is family fun at its finest. A juicy tale of greed, pride and the power of friendship which promises a Dahlicious theatrical feast with live music and songs.



Lyric Hammersmith

Wednesday 26 July – Sunday 20 August

Box office: 020 8741 6850






Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Curve in association with Lyric Hammersmith present

Roald Dahl’s


Adapted for the stage by Sam Holcroft

Directed by Maria Aberg; Designed by Tom Scutt; Music by Arthur Darvill

Lyrics by Arthur Darvill, Sam Holcroft, Al Muriel and Darren Clark

Sound Designer: Claire Windsor; Lighting Designer: Lee Curran

Movement Director: Ayse Tashkiran; Music Director: Richie Hart; Casting Director: Annelie Powell

Cast includes: Richard Atwill, Greg Barnett, Patrick Burbidge, Jade Croot, Lillie Flynn, Sandy Foster, Gruffudd Glyn, Richie Hart, Thomas Hewitt, Edward Hole, Kelly Jackson, Tanya Shields.