Director: Rosie Mullin
Reviewer: Laura Hesketh
Innovative storytellers Substance &Shadow nearly hit the bulls eye with a new tale of desperation, the working class and – of course- darts with their original play Silver and Gould.
Since 2012 Substance &Shadow have been captivating audiences with minimalist, intimate and edgy performances and while Silver &Gould is no exception the new tale is full of laughs and dart-themed escapades.
A throwback to the ‘fast-moving decade’ of the 80s with mentions of Babycham, ra-ra skirts and VHS, the tale follows the fortunes of cousins Leonard Silver (Nathan Simpon) and Melvyn Gould (Midge Mullin). Reunited after the death of Silver’s mother, chaos ensues for the pair with mishaps including heartbreak, betrayal, the haunting ‘booby woman’ and an appearance on the cult game showBullseye.
The cousins are mismatched in every way; Simpson’s Leonard was previously a musician earning himself a spot on the front cover ofSmash Hits. But now he appears to be crude ‘man’s man’ whose similarities to an ape are candidly highlighted in a hilarious scene involving audio from a wildlife documentary. Contrastingly Mullin’s Gould is a camp, squeaky romanticist who dreams only of Bullseye,darts and his teenage crush the infamous Shirley.
The chemistry between the pair make for the perfect comedy duo and their outstanding characterisation must be applauded. Their physicality is amusing if not in need of some fine tuning.
The narrative is interweaved with rich, colourful monologues offering a glimpse into the tragically mundane lives of Silver and Gould; from full-blown conversations to Bathesba the cat, to dancing to Elvis in a dressing gown, the play pokes fun at the lives of the ordinary.
There are occasional lapses in pace, especially towards the end, but overall the tale offers the enjoy the nostaglia of the 80s and watch a comedy duo become the ‘Bullseye Dream Team.’
Reviewed on 3 June 2016 – touring until 15 June | Image:Matt Austin