It's Headed Straight Towards Us ★★★★★ Park Theatre | Sep 14 - Oct 20, 2023

You think you've got problems! Consider the situation of two actors with a history of rivalry who find themselves in Iceland stranded on a glacier atop a volcano. This wonderfully wacky premise for Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer's delightful new comedy sets the audience up for a show that is original, extremely funny and surprisingly thoughtful. Gary, played by Rufus Hound, and his counterpart, Hugh, played by Samuel West, attended drama school together and have since reinvented themselves as they embarked on careers of pretending to be other people. In their current film, Hugh, who has chosen a life of outward conformity and upward mobility, plays a butler while Gary who presents as being the tormented, bad-boy artiste is cast as an alien. Outwardly their personae appear to be quite different, but they both negotiate their way through life by employing pretence, or art. And, although one might think their current dilemma could serve to concentrate the mind, for the most part it just results in some very funny and rather self-absorbed repartee. The parallel of their predicament and reaction to it with contemporary attitudes in the face of environmental change is obvious, but artfully understated. Both Rufus Hound and Samuel West put in masterful performances as the two incompatible colleagues, and their acting accomplishment is matched by Nenda Neururer who plays the minder of the two thespians and whose own existential frame of reference is an interesting mixture of magic and science. There's a lot that could be unpacked here, but, whether you want to contemplate the meaning of it all or just enjoy some comic relief from your own issues, don't miss this hilarious and intelligent evening in the theatre.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Pamela Raith

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