Writer: James Rowland
Director: Daniel Goldman
Reviewer: Andrea Allen
Tom. Hell-raising, ludicrous, life of the party, loved by all, diagnosed with heart cancer and dies within three months at the age of 25. As fiction it’s horrendous, as truth it’s even worse. It’ll come as a bit of a surprise that it’s the basis of probably the most celebratory, joyful and uplifting show you’ll see this year. Five years on from losing his one in a million pal to this one in over two million disease, James Rowland tells us how he fulfilled his best pal’s dying wish, Tom demanded a full Viking burial.
Proving once and for all that truth can be stranger than fiction. Team Viking is a stark reminder that you only get one shot at life, and you might as well go for it. When you’re gone, you’re gone, and if it’s happened, well, why not have singing, dancing and float away on a burning boat that your mates have nicked? As for the smell of the corpse? Bit of Lynx Africa will sort that mate. If it’s cancer that’s carried you off, encourage your mates to indulge in a bit of ‘tumour humour’. Team Viking encourages you to live every day as though it were your last, and, as we hear tales of him continuing to crack jokes in his last days and staggering out the hospital still hooked to a drip for a last pint with his mates, to be a bit more Tom.
It’s rare that a show gives you a renewed appreciation of simply breathing, but Team Viking nails it. Rowland’s candid honesty and humour envelopes his audience and puts everyday problems into perspective, taking last year’s fringe by storm and continuing to delight in 2017. The best thing is, you know Tom would be absolutely loving it.
Reviewed on 28th September 2017