The Inevitable Disappearance of Edward J. Neverwhere is a new piece of work that is currently at BasicSpace in Peckham. Before we start, there is one thing that needs to be made clear. We are not looking at your average tale with Edward J. Neverwhere here. Edward (William Sebag-Montefiore) is not real, he is the paper creation of a young boy who needs a friend of his own to help him cope with the awful home life he has. The boy shares everything he can with Edward, including his most prized possession and for his part, Edward promises to always be with his young friend. However, things change and as the boy changes, so does Edward, who finds that the only certainty in life is that one day it will end.
Paper dominates this performance of The Inevitable Disappearance of Edward J. Neverwhere and on entering the performance space the audience is free to wander around and read the hundreds of letters on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. This was quite a fascinating experience as each letter I read was unique in handwriting and content but each discussed love from some angle. After a while, we took our places with Edward – dressed in superb style in a suit made of newspaper (great work by Designer Jessica Sparling). The locale used for this production is very appropriate and there really is something about The BasicSpace that gives the impression something mysterious and magical could be just around the corner.
William has a lovely delivery which ensures that attention never wanders as he gives us Writer/Director Igor Memic’s story. There are some lovely moments in the narrative and I was particularly entranced with the idea of reserving your burial plot so that no matter what happened in or where you went during life’s tumultuous journey, you always knew where you would end up. The other part I really enjoyed was the use of a cassette – very impressed that the production team managed to find a working cassette player and cassettes to play – to give the audience the experience of the boy’s life first hand and really emphasise just how awful it was and why he created Edward. I did feel that there was more to tell of Edward’s story. I can’t really say where I felt the gaps were – as that would involve some serious spoiler moments – but I did feel the production could have benefited with a bit more expansion with the roughly one-hour running time being expanded to accommodate the extra information.
Having said that, I did find the performance of The Inevitable Disappearance of Edward J. Neverwhere was every bit as intriguing as the title itself. We have all had imaginary friends who are the only ones we can rely on when all around is going to hell in a handcart and this production takes that normal part of being human and expands it to the point where perhaps the imaginary becomes real and the real becomes imaginary. A nicely put together tale presented in excellent style by a master story teller.
Dawid Minnar Janine Ulfane – Photograher credit Alixandra Fazzina.
“Survival of the fittest” is a phrase that originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. Which means that even in the most inhospitable of placers, life will find a way – even if at times, you may look and think what’s the point? For example, in South Africa, the aloe plant is considered one of the country’s most powerful, beautiful and celebratory symbols. It survives out in the wild when everything else is dried. At the end of everything, the aloe is still there. And it is this survival that is at the heart of Athol Fugard’s A Lesson From Aloes which has returned to the UK and is currently in residence at the Finborough Theatre.
Set in South Africa in 1963, where apartheid is at its height and the citizens are living in a paranoid police state. The play revolves around a middle-aged left-leaning couple – Afrikaner Piet Bezuidenhout (Dawid Minnaar) and his wif…
Since 1912, the Blackburn Musical Theatre Company has been entertaining the theatre going folks of this Lancashire town with their annual musical production. In that time, they have covered the vast array of musical theatre from their first production - Sunday - through to their latest - Hello Dolly - which I caught at the Blackburn Empire Theatre.
Dolly Gallagher Levi (Sue Chadwick) is a woman that likes to meddle, or as she puts it, arrange things. Whatever you need doing, Dolly is the person for the job. And right now, she is the talk of turn of the century New York, having brought together Mr Horace Vandergelder (Kris Wlodarczyk), the well-known half-a-millionaire and Mrs Irene Molloy (Laura Mitchell) a widowed millener. Their engagement and subsequent marriage seems pretty much sewn up though neither is marrying for love. Horace, as he tells his Chief Clerk, Cornelius Hackl (Ryan Coe), and Assistant, Barnaby Tucker (Fletcher Illingworth), is looking for someone to run his home…
Since July 2014, I've seen and reviewed 588 shows altogether. 2017 was a fairly quiet year with a total of 132 shows visited by yours truly.
So, in the best traditions of end of the year ideas, here is my list of the top 10 shows that I've seen this year. Please remember, this is my list not anybody else's and if you don't agree with the pick, well, what can I say?
1.Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Bridewell Theatre This story of friendship and hope took two drag queens and a trans woman from Sydney to Alice Springs, in a big pink bus. Along the way, the met new friends and face rampant homophobia. SEDOS brought every element of the show together beautifully, and to a standard that you would expect to see in the West End. Sold out virtually as soon as it was announced, this was the ‘must see production of the year. 2.La Cage aux Folles, New Wimbledon Theatre This is was a touring production of a show that demonstrates the importance of family and how much a parent will s…