Tag Archives: Ioana Curelea

Ryan Lane Will Be There Now In A Minute

★★★★

VAULT Festival 2020

Ryan Lane Will Be There Now In A Minute

Ryan Lane Will Be There Now In A Minute

Cage – The Vaults

Reviewed – 29th February 2020

★★★★

 

“Every opportunity is seized to squeeze every laugh out of a moment, and Lane does it with aplomb”

 

As Ryan Lane bounds on in a mix of traditional Welsh (women’s) dress and a foliage-infused scarlet cape, you’d be forgiven for thinking, ‘perhaps this is a bit too niche’. It was no concern to me as a fellow Welshman, but there was a definite anxiety in the audience in the opening to Ryan Lane Will Be There Now in a Minute. Luckily, the subsequent 55 minutes or so sees Lane charm and delight with a truly hilarious and occasionally poignant look at small-town characters and values.

Set in the rural town of Llandiloes, Lane takes us on a tour of the cast of characters that inhabits it, ranging from the school rugby teacher to the local tour guide. They interact with the audience while going about their daily business, framing them as reluctant sports students or unenthusiastic tourists, which sets up a goldmine of comic potential that Lane unrelentingly reaps. Every opportunity is seized to squeeze every laugh out of a moment, and Lane does it with aplomb, through the extensive physical and vocal toolkit that he and director Georgia Murphy establish with each character. The wit oozing from the script is also exceptional, with a Python-esque surreality to some of the one-liners conjuring a cacophony of belly laughs from the audience.

The sinew connecting each character that Lane depicts is the undercurrent of bigotry that comes entrenched with living in a close-knit rural community such as Llandiloes, and is delivered with expert subtlety in telling the story of a schoolboy struggling with his sexuality. Where many shows fall into the trap of becoming too preachy, Ryan Lane Will Be There Now in a Minute almost swings too far in the opposite direction, displaying unfathomable restraint, letting the irreverent hilarity on the surface smuggle in the more meaningful undertones lurking beneath.

 

Reviewed by Ethan Doyle

Photography by Bruce Wang

 

VAULT Festival 2020

 

 

Click here to see all our reviews from VAULT Festival 2020

 

Mating in Captivity

★★★★

King’s Head Theatre

Mating in Captivity

Mating in Captivity

King’s Head Theatre

Reviewed – 31st July 2019

★★★★

 

“an incredibly unlikely but somehow believable mess of misunderstanding, miscommunication and mishap”

 

We begin with Annie (Jane Christie) and Rob (Rowland Stirling) at their flat door, drunkenly fumbling for keys and clothes. Annie’s quickly down to her underwear, pouring drinks and readying to finish off what has clearly already been a big night out. But as she draws the sheets back, she finds a strange naked man in her bed.

This, it transpires is Jacob (George Rennie), an old school friend of Rob’s, or rather, they used to be “friendly with a chance of meatballs.”

Thus ensues a chaotic game of ‘pass the hysteria’, each character desperately trying to find their footing in what is an incredibly unlikely but somehow believable mess of misunderstanding, miscommunication and mishap.

In a lot of ways this is a typical bedroom farce, moving through unlikely plotlines, various sexual pairings, and deteriorating and rebuilding relationships. But whilst the script (Oliver Page) is relentlessly farcical, it’s clear the narrative is rooted in something more sincere.

Normally with a bedroom farce, the bulk of the play consists of attempts to hide the various pairings from one another, but in this case, we begin with the discovery. You might think there couldn’t possibly be enough meat on this to last an entire play, but somehow the narrative keeps unfolding, causing the audience to actually gasp in unison on more than one occasion. The sexual chemistry on stage is palpable, and it’s very difficult to decide who the audience is vying for.

Jane Christie strikes a perfect balance between wanting to be understanding of a very weird situation, and wanting to punch everyone twice. Sometimes she manages to communicate both in one facial expression.

Rowland Stirling’s rollercoaster of a performance takes us from quiet, close affection to shrill fits of panic, and George Rennie is perfectly understated, that is until the understandably contagious hysteria gets to him too.

With the title in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that the staging consists of a big pile of bedding and not much else (Ioana Curelea). The plot requires bottles of alcohol and a knife (don’t worry, it doesn’t get nasty), but there’s no need for the distraction of a full kitchen. Instead everything is neatly stored in a pillow case. Scene in a toilet? Don’t fret, there’s a bucket in the aisle. Rather than being a fringe show necessity, this lack of frills seems more of a choice. The script and acting are funny and bold enough not to require high production.

Director Ed Theakston brings us confessional grit combined with well-timed slapstick- a surprisingly brilliant pairing. Mating in Captivity is both exceedingly entertaining and unabashedly earnest.

Reviewed by Miriam Sallon

Photography by Jack Whitney

 

kings head theatre

 

King’s Head Theatre – winner of our 2018 Awards – Best London Pub Theatre

Mating in Captivity

King’s Head Theatre until 4th August

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
The Crown Dual | ★★★★ | March 2019
Undetectable | ★★★★ | March 2019
Awkward Conversations With Animals … | ★★★★ | April 2019
HMS Pinafore | ★★★★ | April 2019
Unsung | ★★★½ | April 2019
Coral Browne: This F***Ing Lady! | ★★ | May 2019
This Island’s Mine | ★★★★★ | May 2019
Vulvarine | ★★★★★ | June 2019
Margot, Dame, The Most Famous Ballerina In The World | ★★★ | July 2019
Oddball | ★★★½ | July 2019

 

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