Pros: Moving, inspiring, unforgettable.
Cons: The show includes full frontal nudity and details of a traumatic labour.
James Rowland is the friend we all need in our lives. He’s caring, selfless and entirely committed to the happiness of his friends. That’s why, when his best friends Emma and Sarah asked him to be their sperm donor, it was natural for him to accept. Revelations is his first-hand account of the highs and lows of this life-changing experience.
At the start of the performance, the audience is invited to sing aloud some lines written on a slate. With this, Rowland wants to celebrate the power of music to soothe and to bring people together. His ease whilst talking directly to the audience makes us all feel comfortable, preparing the ground for the heart-stopping moments to come. He seems to be sharing his adventures with his mates at the pub, rather than at a theatrical performance: he smiles, he sings and he occasionally calls people to join him on stage.
He and Sarah have been best friends all their lives, and we hear fond memories of the Christian Rock Festivals they attended as teenagers. At one festival he realised he was in love with her, just hours before she announced that she was gay. Being so close to each other meant that Rowland got heavily involved in the journey from conception to delivery – not only providing an essential contribution to it, but also fulfilling her endless cravings for McDonald’s and even joining the mothers-to-be in the delivery room. The accounts of those long hours are filled with graphic description and charged with drama.
Rowland’s vivid storytelling is absorbing, and we welcome his show-stopping details with gasps and sighs. At one point we even clap with relief, after a particularly intense episode. This is spoken word at its best, and Rowland proves that the happy ending of a story depends exclusively on when we decide to stop it: if it’s not happy, then it’s not yet the end.
Author: James Rowland
Director: Daniel Goldman
Producer: James Rowland & Tangram Theatre Company
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run