Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
A thirty minute play about a well-known comedian played by a well-known comedian sounds like a shoe-in for a fun half hour. Written by Paul Merton’s real-life wife Suki Webster, and starring the pair, the playlet revolves around comedian Danny Haywood (Merton) who wakes up to find an obsessed fan in his hotel room.
The situation is a gold mine, but the performances themselves leave something to be desired. Proof positive that acting and comedy are different jobs entirely, both Merton and Webster fail to connect with the text or draw believable characters. The comic timing is certainly there, and there are some great lines and moments, but overall the delivery is stilted and lacking in pace. There are some difficulties with the plot, which doesn’t develop or go anywhere and is largely unfulfilling, and it feels more like a sitcom pilot that an attempt at creating a piece of theatre. There is an attempt by Merton to show some type of emotional journey, and Webster throws in some nice touches, but mainly it consists of stock jokes and a distinct lack of obsession from an apparently dedicated stalker.
The most exciting part of the production was the reaction of the audience to Ian Hislop joining the queue outside. Decidedly mediocre theatre which delivered far less than was promised.
Runs until 16thAug