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Credit: The Same But Different Theatre Company
Credit: The Same But Different Theatre Company

Starring James Franco, Camden People’s Theatre – Review

Pros: The absurdity of it all will make you giggle on occasion and the enthusiasm of the cast is electric.

Cons: Difficult to follow as it doesn’t appear to have much of a plot. The laughter from the audience sometimes felt forced, and seemed due to sheer awkwardness.

Pros: The absurdity of it all will make you giggle on occasion and the enthusiasm of the cast is electric. Cons: Difficult to follow as it doesn’t appear to have much of a plot. The laughter from the audience sometimes felt forced, and seemed due to sheer awkwardness. The Same But Different are a unique theatre company made up of five cast members called The Chancellor, Tarzan Boy, The Economy, Gylligan The Traveller and What is Edd?. In their production Starring James Franco they explore the celebrity obsessed society we live in today. The shows begins with footage of…

Summary

Rating

Poor

If you enjoy new and unusual theatre this will be right up your street, but it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea!

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The Same But Different are a unique theatre company made up of five cast members called The Chancellor, Tarzan Boy, The Economy, Gylligan The Traveller and What is Edd?. In their production Starring James Franco they explore the celebrity obsessed society we live in today.

The shows begins with footage of James Franco from interviews and films being projected onto the back of the set. This is followed by The Chancellor reading out a letter he has written to the actor inviting him to take part in their production, the aptly titled Starring James Franco.

The cast rehearses for opening night without Franco, though they quickly recognise that the show doesn’t work without its guest of honour. Two other letters are read out by other members of the cast, asking Franco to hurry to London in order to perform with them. They quickly realise that he isn’t going to reply, and start making excuses for why he has failed to turn up – perhaps he’s sick? The focus on celebrity is key to the production and is reflective of today’s society. Newspaper stands are filled with celebrity magazines and each news website has a section dedicated entirely to ‘Showbiz’ news. And although the production stalls because of the missing Franco, all of the cast members are still as obsessed with him at the end as they were at the beginning, thus emphasising the dark side of fandom.

The set is simple and bare, with photos of James Franco taped all over the walls of the theatre. The whole production is very surreal and strange, and I had no idea what was going on through most of it, but this is what makes this company unusual. They aren’t afraid to be different and that in itself deserves respect.

Created and performed by: The Same But Different
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.

About Laura Kate Jones

Laura Kate Jones
Works for in Central London as a Press Officer. Having been brought up in a small town deep in the Welsh Valleys, Laura completed an English degree and a Magazine Journalism Postgrad and eventually moved to London to live her dream of working in the theatre. Spending many years as an avid Alan Rickman and Harry Potter fan (we defy you to find someone who knows more about the series than her!), she ventured into the ‘Muggle’ theatre world by accident during a free afternoon in London. She spends most nights in London attending various productions while volunteering at several theatres as an Usher and Press/Marketing Assistant. She currently resides in London.