By: Say It Again, Sorry?
Tonight’s performance of The importance of Being Earnest has gone horribly wrong, the actor playing the title role has failed to show up and the director is looking to cast from within the audience. This is the start to the Say It Again, Sorry? production of a play within a play, where the crowd is made the star and the performers revel in the structure of a show that goes wrong for comedic effect.
From the audience tonight a game volunteer called Zolt steps into the breach and joins the fun on stage. The director is pulling his hair out. The piece is streaming live on facebook, some influential people from the National Theatre could be watching. He hope’s Zolt can save the day.
The professional actors have a mixed view of this amateur’s invertantion. Eleanor, who plays Lady Bracknell (Susan Hoffman) is horrified she is sharing the stage with a newbie and tries her best to derail Zolt’s performance and the play in general.
Others are trying to make the best of it. Terry, who plays Alernon (Guido Garcia Lueches), isn’t confident improvising. He has already blocked out the whole play and cannot bring himself to change it. This leads to several hilarious sections, including a solo duel which has the auditorium ringing with laughter.
Jen who plays Gwendolin (Trynity Silk) deals with the pressure by getting awfully drunk, which leads to several cheek hurtingly funny scenes as she slowly gets more and more sozzled.
The director and Graham (Rhys Tees) try to hold the play together as more actors drop out and more members of the crowd are enlisted to help, but the task is becoming insurmountable and chaos reigns.
This is a lovely piece of interactive theatre. The play has been adapted well for the covid restrictions and the cast are all wonderful at engaging with people, drawing us into the mischief. It is a joyful play, with plenty of silliness. The audience fully immerse themselves in the experience and by the end everyone has a chance to shine.
Say It Again, Sorry? Have brought a little ray of sunshine to the Brighton Fringe; this is a fabulous piece which will make anyone beam.
Reviewed on 25th June