Writer: Miles Allen
Reviewer: Lauren Maughan
One Man Breaking Bad is just what it says on the tin. One man, entertainer Miles Allen, running the audience through the five seasons of the hit US TV show. But who knew a tale of the Mexican drug cartel could be turned into a successful comedy? If you’re a breaking baddict – this show is certainly for you. It’ll fill the gap left behind when the five seasons came to a grand finale.
Allen’s energy from the offset is highly addictive. He bursts onto the stage almost like he’d had a hit of the blue stuff himself and impersonates the characters to a tee. Narrated by Allen’s favourite character Jesse Pinkman, he then continues to introduce the other characters throughout the show with his impersonations. Walter White, Mike, Hank and Gus are all very cleverly done. But the one with the most appreciation from the Salford audience has to be Walter Jnr.
There are props galore in One Man Breaking Bad to help Allen tell his story with key items from the show you’ll remember like the Heisenberg hat, the pink floating bear, Skyler White’s wig and bell of Don Salamamca. A lot of thought and effort has gone into the show. There’s even some audience participation from a couple in the crowd to recreate that famous pizza on the roof scene. But at no point is his ability to imitate this broad cast of characters better on display than when he parodies Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball, cleverly replacing lyrics with extracts from the series. Something that has to be seen to be believed.
For anyone who missed the Breaking Bad phenomenon (and there were a few hands raised in the Lowry) this show will have little appeal. But if you’re a breaking baddict you’ll be in your element and not be disappointment that your favourite show lives on in this unique and entertaining way.
The show is split in two halves. The first act is a whistle stop tour of seasons one to three – Allen barely takes a breath! He successfully picks out all the key elements of the show you’ll remember fondly. Coming back with the same energy in the second half, Allen takes us through seasons four and five including the episode with the fly, to the one where Walt Jnr eats breakfast, the one where Jane dies, the one where Skyler finds out and the one where Gus sees his bitter end – you can relive all these moments if you go and see One Man Breaking Bad.
The timely sound effects and projected images on the screen help Allen with his comedic timing and his ability to re-enact the story. The script is well written and it’s clear to see that Allen is maybe the biggest breaking bad fan of all. To tell a complex show in just over an hour is an impressive achievement.
Allen’s toured the U.S and Australia with his show but still managed to get in some jokes that us Brits would relate to too – including gags about our TV exports TOWIE and Downton Abbey – much lighter viewing than a chemistry teacher who turns into one of the most dangerous drug producers New Mexico has witnessed.
When season five comes to a head, you might feel the same disappointment that the reincarnation of Breaking Bad is once again coming to a close. But in Allen’s style he puts his own spin on the finale and gets some laughs from the crowd. He’s even kind enough to share some of the blue stuff (in the form of sweets of course) with the audience.
If you’re a Breaking Bad fan, you’re sure to have an A1 night with Allen.
Reviewed on 27 November 2015