Tag Archives: Joel M Photography

[Title of Show]


Moors Bar

Title of Show

[ Title of Show ]

Moors Bar Theatre

Reviewed – 7th August 2019



“This play does carry a strong message, which director Eleanor Felton expertly highlights”


The Camden Fringe promotes itself as a chance to see edgy, experimental and brand new theatre. To be invited to see a show called [ title of show ] therefore didn’t raise much of an eyebrow, although I do wonder how many people bypass the play due to the ambiguity of the title. I however was intrigued and turned up with an open mind, an open notebook and a slightly puzzled expression on my face.

It turns out that this is the story of Jeff, Heidi, Hunter and Susan, writing a musical about Jeff, Heidi, Hunter and Susan. They give themselves three and a half weeks to write a script and submit it to a festival with the ultimate hope that it might be a hit and end up on Broadway. Not having a specific idea for a plot, they sit down to write the first things that come into their heads and to document for inclusion, all conversations that they hold.

The small, square stage was decorated by four simple, wooden chairs. These were well used and effortlessly moved around. The simple lighting was used to good effect.

An original idea for a script, a lot of the obvious gags were used early on and the dialogue did at times become a little repetitive, although many of the ‘under the breath’ quips were very nicely done particularly by Susan. Writing can be a tortuous, lonely task and watching people struggling for ideas to move their piece on, didn’t always make for the most compulsive viewing, despite us being told that ‘Writing should be as easy as a monkey driving a speedboat’!.

But this is a musical and any show from this genre will live or die by its musical numbers. Fortunately, the four strong cast (William Tippery, Charlotte Denton, Kieran Parrott and Alyssa LeClair) are all blessed with equally strong singing voices, the harmonies were a highlight and filled the room with the most gorgeous sounds, all under the expert accompaniment of Robert Hazle who was so skilled, that at times you never even noticed his on-point playing.

Highlights, were the opening number “No Title”, the delightful “Stuck In A Role Playing Me” the cleverly written and well delivered “Who Is Heidi, Who Is Susan” and the amusing “Unwanted Photo-Shoot”. Oddly, my only real issue with the music was the finale. A cracking, uplifting number was belted out and drew whoops and applause, only to be followed by a downbeat, final number which took the wind a little out of the sails.

The show ran out of steam a little in its final third, “I want to have substance. not fluff” one of the actors cried, a small amount of editing and a little more substance would in my opinion, help the show to roll along at a better pace.

I have to mention the ‘Relaxed Performance’ that this company are putting on this Friday afternoon for adults or young adults with autism or complex sensory needs. A lovely idea and I wish them every success with this venture.

This play does carry a strong message, which director Eleanor Felton expertly highlights. Be inspired to take a risk and do the thing that you’ve been wanting to do, do it for three weeks and then show somebody. You may have a gem?

Thank you Plan Z Theatre for an interesting evening, if anybody wants me, I’ll be available in three weeks time…


Reviewed by Chris White

Pictures by Joel M Photography


Camden Fringe

[ Title of Show ]

Moors Bar until 10th August as part of Camden Fringe 2019


Previous shows covered by this reviewer:
Citysong | ★★★★ | Soho Theatre | June 2019
Little Light | ★★★ | The Tower Theatre | June 2019
Feel The Love | ★★★★ | Chickenshed Theatre | July 2019
Parenthood | ★★★½ | The Space | July 2019

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


The Crumple Zone

King’s Head Theatre

The Crumple Zone

The Crumple Zone

King’s Head Theatre

Reviewed – 29th November 2018


“remains an entertaining, if slightly dated, queer Christmas show”


The titular crumple zone refers to the part of a car designed to crumple up on impact to protect the people inside. It’s a fitting metaphor for the poor characters in this show who end up bearing the brunt of other peoples’ romantic decisions and works as well for the show itself. Although far from being a car crash, ‘The Crumple Zone’ tiptoes around a compelling and dramatic story, leaving the audience aware of an emotional punch, and yet completely unaffected by it.

Buddy Thomas’ script introduces us to Alex (Nick Brittain), Buck (Robbie Capaldi) and Terry (Lucas Livesey), all struggling actors working crappy jobs to get through the Christmas holidays. Alex is dating Buck, to the ignorance of the long-term girlfriend Sam (Natasha Edwards), and their relationship is put into question when Sam, to everyone’s surprise, returns home from tour on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, Terry picks up Roger (Fanos Xenofos), another adulterer, using him as a rebound after his repeat rejection from Buck.

It’s certainly comedy caper territory, especially with Livesey’s Terry, whose wisecracking cynicism really makes the show enjoyable. However, Livesey is not matched by his fellow actors, who fail to raise the stakes when it’s needed most. Robert McWhir places his actors effectively, but no one seems affected or changed by the drama surrounding them. This is partly the script’s fault. Not only are a lot of the jokes and cultural references dated (to a Millennial at least!), but we don’t know who to root for. Relationships are simply not set up in such a way to make us care for anyone. The biggest betrayal barely registers for Sam, so why should it register for us? ‘The Crumple Zone’ is only eighteen years old, but it’s representation of gay/bisexual men as either cheaters or callously promiscuous does not hold up well. Not that I advocate only positive representation, but we do hope to see more nuanced characters these days.

All in all, I can see why this play was an “off-Broadway hit” back in 2000. Warm, witty, and with an incredibly watchable performance from Livesey, ‘The Crumple Zone’ remains an entertaining, if slightly dated, queer Christmas show.


Reviewed by Joseph Prestwich

Photography by Joel M Photography


kings head theatre

The Crumple Zone

King’s Head Theatre until 9th December


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue
Riot Act | ★★★★★ | July 2018
The Cluedo Club Killings | ★★★ | July 2018
And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens | ★★★★ | August 2018
Hamilton (Lewis) | ★★★ | September 2018
Canoe | ★★★½ | October 2018
La Traviata | ★★★★ | October 2018
No Leaves on my Precious Self | ★★ | October 2018
Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody | ★★★★★ | November 2018
Brexit | ★★★★★ | November 2018
Momma Golda | ★★★ | November 2018


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