Making News, Pleasance, ✭✭
A curiously dated comedy, Making News would not have been out of place as a 1980’s episode of Drop the Dead Donkey, albeit without the wit and irony. A script which relies too much on a punchline, and not enough on genuine humour, Making News is further hampered by some gauche direction and uneven performances. While the premise certainly has legs, this production is bogged down in extraneous plot devices and a complete lack of pace or dramatic tension. Making News? Making snooze.
** (2 stars)
Runs until 25th August
Stuart: A Life Backwards, Underbelly ✭✭✭✭
Jack Thorne brings his observational elegance to a dazzling script, adapted from Alexander Masters’ novel of the same name. It is Thorne’s script that is the true star of this stylish production. Refusing to sensationalise or sugar-coat the life story of Stuart Shorter, Thorne succeeds in making him a genuinely likeable hero and the emotional lynchpin of the entire piece. This is helped, in no small way, by Fraser Ayres staggering performance as Shorter. So detailed, so precise, so minutely affectionate is his portrayal that he seems to energise even the seemingly mundane and trivial. Thorne’s writing riffs on various themes throughout, but without hammering any home. The result is a thrilling and engaging drama which will stay with you for long afterwards.
**** (4 stars)
Runs until 26th August