Tag Archives: Tim Chapman

Coming Out

Coming Out Of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine)


VAULT Festival 2020

Coming Out Of My Cage

Coming Out Of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine)

Pit – The Vaults

Reviewed – 11th February 2020



“a fun and ultimately sincere one hour show which begins to portray the music, emotions and indigenous people of those glorious double zero years”


Previous decades have had their iconic theatre revivals. The 70s have Mamma Mia!, the 80s has The Bodyguard, and the 90s has Viva Forever! What should be clear from this list, is that the further away from a decade you get – the easier it is to write theatre for it. Coming Out Of My Cage is a genuine noughties musical, replete with all the nostalgia, joy, youth and instability which comes with the attempt to look back so soon.

Our two performers (Hannah Fellows and Tim Chapman) present a sort of old-style revue comedy act as the pair portray the creation of the show in which they are currently performing – what could be more millennial or post-modern than a show about itself? The characters, on stage and through their high-quality audiovisual content, trawl the web for every performance of Mr Brightside by The Killers only to become obsessed with one karaoke performer in the north of England. As their journey culminates, the duo finds the point at which their favourite party banger becomes a poignant swan song.

At the same time, just like the smashed avocado which, without doubt, fuelled this show – Coming Out Of My Cage tastes good but is a little green around the edges. The lack of tightness is a little challenging to ignore in the imposing setting of both the vaults physical and VAULT Festival. Moments of distracted audience participation are more Butlins than Beckett plus references and in-jokes are often not quite as funny or clever as they’re meant to be. However, these details give way to a show that does have a heart. The temptation to ironise, gimmick and meme, eventually becomes the servant to a human story.

Projections and sound recording, which Shepard Tone pride themselves in, come and go telling the story of the actors’ journey to find their mystery singer. Each section moves the narrative along well and is enjoyably novel and modern – the projections were sometimes tricky to follow due to the space, but this wasn’t enough to ruin the moment and creativity.

An opening gimmick literally sets the stage – the actors begin inside a cage which is left present for the remainder of the performance. Both performers dress in the sumptuous golden suits and ties of The Killer’s music video and this places the play in the same dreamlike Moulin Rouge where that music video occurs. On stage, music is a must for the millennial show, and the synth, ukulele and accordion are pleasant if a little off-piste from the story.

A protozoic noughties Mamma Mia!, Coming Out Of My Cage is a fun and ultimately sincere one hour show which begins to portray the music, emotions and indigenous people of those glorious double zero years. More shows will follow, and although this was the first and not the best, it is entertaining, committed and novel. The next time a newspaper columnist says that young people are too alienated and purist to have fun, make mistakes or to show they care about the little things – show them this show.


Reviewed by William Nash


VAULT Festival 2020



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An Abundance of Tims – 3.5 Stars


An Abundance of Tims

Tristan Bates Theatre

Reviewed – 22nd April 2018


“refreshingly (and unashamedly) errs on the side of fun rather than Freud”


Tim Chapman is an emerging talent with experience in youth theatre, children’s theatre, improvisation and musicals, and here he is also the writer of “An Abundance of Tims”, a not quite autobiographical one-man show. It is the creation of Shepard Tone Theatre, a two-man company consisting of Tim Chapman himself and director, Alexander Hick, whose shared mission is unpretentious theatre that ‘you don’t need an arts degree to decipher’. True enough, what could have been a moral allegory on today’s issues concerning the dangers of identity on social media turns out to be a breezy display of verbal and technical wizardry.

Presented as intentional self-indulgence, Tim tells a story of mistaken identity in a small rural town, featuring himself as hero, himself twice more in the form of vocal recordings issuing from two portable speakers, and Mit, a mysterious female character who carries out heroic deeds while shunning the limelight, something Tim is happy to take on her behalf. The repartee between ‘live’ Tim, and the recorded Tims is generally well sustained throughout, with some good jokes and comic ideas, supplemented by imaginative twists and surprises.

The ingenuity of the script is compounded by a great lightness of touch in the banter between the ‘Tims’ which has a surreal sense of spontaneity despite the necessity for prerecording. For example, the three voices uncannily adapt their dialogue to allow for the existence of what appear to be onstage props for another production. However, the overall simplicity of this tale of an anti-superhero sags somewhat in the longer explanatory sections.

The performances, both by the ‘live’ Tim and those on the vocal recordings, are assured and engaging, though for a performance so reliant on technical precision the sound recordings could have been of higher quality. As director, Alexander Hick, does a better job of the lighting and staging, which manage to keep the story and the idea flowing right to the end, which arrives in a well-structured denouement as the ‘voices’ gradually get the upper hand, though there could be more material at the end to underline the ‘coup’.

An innovative production, “An Abundance of Tims” possibly misses an opportunity for the two audio Tims to have different characters or motivations but this show refreshingly (and unashamedly) errs on the side of fun rather than Freud. An hour’s entertainment passes with not too much in the way of emotional depth, but plenty of laughs.


Reviewed by Joanna Hetherington


An Abundance of Tims

Tristan Bates Theatre



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