The talented, gritty cast of ‘Road’ invites you down the street back to the grimy 80s of the North for a night your feet won’t forget – and it certainly didn’t disappoint. From the brilliantly designed set, that included the audience, to the sheer talent of the entire cast, ‘Road’ was a brilliant night out.
Even before the show, the audience were made to join in whether they liked it or not, with the play beginning in the foyer at the bar. From then on there was no turning back. Once in the main theatre, we were shouted at, flirted with and generally pushed about for the whole performance. The fourth wall was definitely smashed down on this road. This was probably the best and the only way to ensure the audience truly understood the characters’ lives on road. Grabbing their attention before the play had even begun.
The fourth wall was definitely smashed down on this road
Asking your audience to stand in the centre of the action, whilst the play literally happens around them, for almost 3 hours is a tall ask. Especially when some members weren’t exactly the tallest whilst others most certainly were. This would have been awful and ruined the entire show had it not been for the outstanding cast. There are times when you can be facing an actor straight on but can’t get what they’re trying to portray. The fact every single cast member was able get across their story, even when half the audience couldn’t see them, is seriously impressive.
Asking your audience to stand in the centre of the action for almost 3 hours is a tall ask
The set was very well done. It encompassed the entire theatre and with its run-down, dirtiness really did make you feel like you were in the North of the 80s. Scenes ran round the edges inside the main space and the spotlighting was used to great effect to highlight which character’s story was being told. The most ingenious piece of set had to be the pull-out bed that was used to great effect in the bedroom scenes with Joey (Ben Standish).
It encompassed the entire theatre and with its run-down, dirtiness really did make you feel like you were in the North of the 80s
These scenes were particularly harrowing, as the audience who had been so involved in all the other characters’ stories were forced to watch in abject silence as Joey lost his mind whilst starving himself. Ben Standish’s performance was outstanding. He managed to maintain the tension and taught emotion of his long monologues even throughout the short interludes from other characters.
Ben Standish’s performance was outstanding
The entire cast were phenomenal. From Wesley Nash’s oddly likeable but roguish Scullery who almost narrated the play, to Madeleine Hardy’s dejected singing as the old lady, to Verity Spencer’s drunken over-sexed Brenda each and every character had background and texture. What’s even more impressive about this production is the 8 person strong cast played not just 8 characters, but 33 characters all together throughout the play. With some actors playing 7 roles themselves. The fact each character was so well polished is a testimony to the director and the cast.
The fact each of the 33 characters were so well polished is a testimony to the director and the cast
Overall, Road was a phenomenal night out. It had everything a great play needs, action, light and shade. Though it could have done with a few more chairs for those with tired feet.
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