Saturday, 30 May 2015

Review: Honest by Fowl Humour at FONT FESTIVAL

D.C Moore's one man play Honest has a lot going for it. For the performer it requires a big degree of concentration, as do all one man shows, but this one especially so because the character is mostly talking about his experiences where he was under the influence of alcohol. With a script that requires the performer to stop and start, begin again falsely and change subject frequently and in doing so, keep the audience's interest and attention throughout fifty minutes – the performer and script have to be very good. The actor also has to be able to trust that script and realise the comedy aspects and work with them through his skills and those of the director.

Fowl Humour present Honest at a variety of venues across Nottingham as part of the inaugural year for Font Festival – a festival of Live Performance featuring new theatre works, devised theatre and performance art. Honest is performed in a basement studio space (27th May) at Lee Rosey's on Broad Street Nottingham and it is directed by Andrew Fowler.

Professional actor Matthew Hunt plays David, an embittered man in his thirties, who sits at a small table in a wine stained shirt, surrounded by evidence of a mixed alcohol binge drinking session. He is in situ as the audience take their seats; his mood morose. He is crunching on fizzy vitamin tablets and dropping another into a glass of water but never drinking it. He stares at half a pint of lager as 'Vienna' by Ultravox plays in the distance. As the play begins Hunt talks directly to the audience.

Wisely the piece isn't performed as a drunken slur but rather a sober, occasionally angry, wry recount of the character David's malcontent view of his office job and his co-workers and the yuppy boss Ben. He pretty much despises the whole package and anyone who has ever worked in a Council office will recognise the characters and the rituals. This is where the piece works the best – the drama and comedy of recognition. Hunt brings all of the wonderfully drawn characters to life so well that you almost believe they are on the stage with him. One of the highlights of the piece is when Hunt's character David invites reluctant boss Ben into the male toilets to allegedly share some cocaine. Just through his stance and half way stare the audience are 'there' in the claustrophobic confines of a gents toilet cubicle. Throughout the piece Hunt makes great use of his body language to portray himself and the other characters in conversation.

After a massive argument at an office night out Hunt takes his character on another drunken lope on foot through and out of Nottingham towards Beeston. He gets frighteningly furious at the server in McDonalds for not serving a big mac at breakfast time (twice) and each stage of his vengeful journey to Ben's house is confused by him blacking out and waking up in another area. Once more in D.C Moore's play we find the 'journey' littered with local characters and recognisable landmarks but will David ever get to Ben's house and what does he plan to do to his pissed off boss?

In a confident performance by Matthew Hunt we can be honestly assured of a dramatic and often funny fifty minutes of theatre.

Honest can be seen in a second run June 10th -13th at the Nedd Ludd in Nottingham

For information about booking contact

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