Pros: First chance to see the UK premiere of this Italian comedy.
Cons: A little bit of work would make it flow better.
I knew very little about My Son’s Husband other than the fact it was a comedy – I was very much looking forward to seeing something a little different to what I was used to and to visiting a venue I had not been to before. Theatro Technis is within easy walking distance from Mornington Crescent station (on the Northern line).
Upon my arrival, the lady behind the bar was very friendly, making sure everyone had everything they needed before the show started, but the doors soon opened and we were all asked to take our seats. I love small, intimate venues and Theatro Technis was no exception; I was so close to the action I really felt as if I were sitting in the characters’ very apartment, going through all the events of the play with them.
The show tells the story of two gay guys, Michael and George, who are in love and are planning to get married, of course only after breaking this news to their parents with some typically humourous and somewhat corny moments. The whole play is set between the apartment the guys recently bought together and the coffee shop around the corner where Michaels ex girlfriend from college now works. The plot is full of many twists and turns – most of them expected, but also a few less predictable ones.
Each character has a ‘paired monologue’, in which two characters each have a monologue with alternating lines. I’m not sure if there is an official name for this phenomenon, but I’d like to go with a ‘duo-logue’. I found it a fascinating technique: the characters’ unique backstories draw the audience deeper into the storyline, and the fast-paced switches between the two characters were interesting and very cleverly done. In another unexpected device, the audience were asked to participate in a ‘gay quiz’ early into the second act. While this certainly added to the overall amusement, I felt it almost distracted me from the themes of the play itself.
The set is minimalist to say the least: it consists of a sofa, two chairs, and a couple of stools only, but I actually thought it worked really well. I could suggest a few more props to make the set a more homely feel, but I don’t think it really would have made much difference to my overall feelings about the show.
The best performances are from the more mature members of the cast. Tino Orsini and Yvonne Wickham as George’s parents and Roberto Benfenati and Stefania Montesolaro as Michael’s parents really bring this play back to life, particularly when it starts to run away a little from the younger cast members every now and then. The occasional delays and fumbles in the line delivery also make the show seem a little under-rehearsed at times. But, despite that, it did what a comedy is supposed to do: it definitely made me smile.
Original Author: Danielle Farreri
Adapted and Directed By: Raffaele Cericola
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.