It’s a stark change, I notice as I sit in Theatre N16 wrapped up in my jacket shivering in my seat. Just weeks ago, London black box theatres were the equivalent of a hot Russian sauna, so I now can decisively say, Winter is Coming.
Game of Thrones fans among you may notice a slightly crass but apt jab at the North there. As was Cold Chips, founded on the basis that Yorkshire born and bred Olivia May Roebuck always found her Northern accent the source of jokes. A room of southerners laughing at a Northern accent is something I am only too familiar with, as I am often that person dealing with roars of laughter when I say words like Bus, Bath and No. Apparently it’s hilarious, and Tiny Theatre capitalised on this, using the character of brash northerner as their lead.
In this two man play, north is polarised against south in a setting which seems slightly geographically confused – am I in London or Leeds? Two friends sort their life problems out on a Friday night, on a park bench, with a portion of chips. The show started 15 minutes late, and it took me a while to settle into the laughs, but when they came they were great. Olivia has a natural charm for comedy, and this lifted the energy of the plot. Jabs at millennial life and issues (primarily rent prices and unemployment) were made with initially gappy scene changes. But then the show seemed to find its flow. Nicely choreographed movement and some well chosen music helped this, before the humour took its own place. The references to the crap nature of adulthood were relatable, and I particularly enjoyed the monologue wishing for romance. Story of my life.
But then, a curveball was thrown, and it was the big C word. C word being cancer. Not to spoil the plotline, but this did answer a lot of the initial questions I had, but I did wonder if it was necessary. It was effective, as many audience members were visibly weeping. Perhaps it’s just me though – is there ever a good night to see a show about cancer?
The ending was optimistic and did a great job of cheering up the audience, and me. This play leads you back and forth between romance, laughter, heartbreak and concern, and uses all components to create what I can describe as lovely show. I would recommend seeing this show.
Portion of chips not included.