Pros: Great script; some lovely use of figurative language.
Cons: Sometimes a little difficult to keep up with the pace and fully appreciate the jokes.
I have a confession to make before I start: I generally love most types of theatre, but I’ve made it a solid rule to avoid all plays listed as ‘one man/woman show’ or ‘solo performance’… This is mostly because one of the things I like most about going to the theatre is the spectacle. I like to consider the inventiveness of the staging and set, and enjoy the interactions between the cast. Quite ridiculously, I also really like it when I see some very well directed scene transitions (I probably need to take a long, hard look at myself really). My point is that it’s an unavoidable fact that the fewer actors on stage, the less action and thus, I am a little ashamed to admit, the more chance my attention will wander…
So, in truth, it was with a little trepidation that I went to see Each of Us by Ben Moor at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised. Listed as a ‘solo comedy’, Moor’s newly written piece is a journey into one man’s consciousness; a monologue full of musings and ruminations about love, friendship and human connection in uncertain times. At a swift 60 minutes, it is the perfect running time for this kind of piece and, correctly punctuated with musical interludes, is well directed by Erica Whyman. It manages to stay fresh and interesting throughout the monologue.
Ben Moor’s performance is witty and well performed. The script is well written with some lovely figurative language; there are a few points where the combination of the spoken word performance enhanced by the lighting and music produced some very touching moments. And after having seen this performance I might have to eat my hat a little and admit that ‘solo’ performances can be enjoyable. In fact this piece managed to keep my attention and thus made me really consider what Moor had to say: that ultimately getting involved in other people’s lives can only be a good thing, even if it hurts sometimes.
There were a few caveats. It was a little fast-paced at times and I did miss some of the jokes because of this. This was a shame as it was littered with fairly witty observational comedy. As I mentioned before, the use of music to break up the monologue was used effectively, but it did get a little repetitive even in 60 minutes.
Those small elements aside though, this is a solo comedy piece which doesn’t need to be avoided and is in fact certainly worth a watch!
Written and Performed by: Ben Moor
Director: Erica Whyman
Music & Sound: Simon Oakes & Mark Moloney
Presented by: Show & Tell
Booking: Running at various venues in London & Oxford until 25th March 2014.
Booking Link: http://www.showandtelluk.com/tickets/each-of-us-by-ben-moor-the-london-roam