Article by Weeping Tudor.
So far at theSprout, we have reviewed all shows at The Other Room. To my dismay, it appears no one got round to reviewing St Nicholas. In keeping with our untarnished record of reviewing for TOR, I did in fact see a preview. So, here is a brief review of St. Nicolas: often hilarious and chilling account of booze, reviews and vampires, masterfully performed by Christian Patterson. So, there we are then. (4 stars)
A Sunny Disposition wraps up TOR’s Insomnia season, after many successes and highlights. This play may feel like an after-thought (it was never billed in the main programme until just the other month), but it did seem to go down well at the Your Room development scheme. Nicola Reynolds’ play is one of regrets, soon to be revealed to an audience, or anyone who would listen.
The “shame” of drink and drug abuse is heavily examined and its proud of its message. We don’t talk about addiction like we do with other mental health issues – this is a deeply concerning gap in our society. Her piece is blunt, to the point and brief, making you wonder what the aftermath would be as well. Would there be hope or a decent back into the bottom of a glass?
Other Room favourite, Neal McWilliams performs as Charlie, a role that was written for him and it clearly shows. He fizzles in the role, delivering it with mastery and knowing how to keep an audience in his grasp (his face). Charlie is never pitiful, only a calling card to be wary of addiction and its many trappings.
Charlie could be any young man today, but the story descends into a tragic spin, with a gut-wrenching conclusion. The bravado seen in him is only rivalled by the love of his two girls. You want him to get off the booze and dope for them, but you know that’s not always a possibility.
As McWilliams took a bow at the curtain, you could see the hurtling demand the piece impacts on him. He’s doing it for a half a dozen nights…
A sure-fire success and a lamentable experience.
Rating: 4 stars
A Sunny Disposition is at The Other Room, Porter’s till 14th May 2016.
St Nicholas is at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold till 14th May 2016.
Image Credit: Aenne Pallasca