Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Stuff, 24:7 Theatre Festival 23/7/14
Toby (Danny Ryder) and Jess (Eve Burley) want to start a family, but despite Jess's excessive planning and list making, and plenty of practise, Toby's 'little guys' have not proved equal to the task in hand. They receive a visit from their irrepressible and slightly eccentric friend Xav (Karl Greenwood) who makes an unusual offer that could possibly solve their problems, but Toby is none too keen. During the course of this lively and extremely funny play by Mick Cooper we touch on the themes of life, death, friendship and love, with a little bit of humus loving superhero thrown in for good measure.
I really enjoyed this play, it explores some quite serious themes yet manages to be pacey and fun, with plenty of laugh out loud moments. It also includes a few extremely touching elements, one particular moment almost had me in tears towards the end (and it’s quite unusual for me to weep in a theatre!). The staging was excellent, although it is all set in real time in one room, the use of space is well thought out and it makes the most of the layout of the Elphick stage.
All the cast were great and worked extremely well together. It took me a little time to warm to the character of Toby, but once he opened up he won me round. I enjoyed the lively interplay between good friends Jess and Xav, but the star player of the show has to be Greenwood as the irrepressible, Tigger-like Xav, excellent comic timing, boundless energy and one of the most impressive athletic leaps I've seen on stage in a while!
All in all, Stuff is Top Stuff!