James Rowland is so relaxed, so comfortable and honest. He tells us a story – he reminds us that it’s fictional but it feels so real, such is his prowess in the narration. Instantly likeable, he speaks with humility, the astonishment of being lucky enough to have good things in his life, thankful for everything he has. Instantly we buy his tale, we laugh with him and feel for him. A Hundred Different Words For Love, but the feeling of Rowland’s emotions are crystal clear. Who needs a hundred when the one you use holds such astonishing power?
A Nintendo Entertainment System places host to this interactive show with a twist. It’s retro-immersive, with the audience as the enablers and Amy Conway as the hero that we depend upon to complete her quest. It feels a bit like a lecture, or a corporate team away day in parts – we work in groups to accomplish the missions and learn more about ourselves as people, both individually and together. But Super Awesome World has a much deeper message – if nothing else, it reminds us that we’re not alone.
Mark Watson wanders onto stage and picks up a totally unseen script by a totally unknown female writer. It’s coincidence that tonight’s comedian is Mark Watson – there’s a different comedy performer for each show of Manwatching. It’s an interesting challenge for Watson to deliver, but equally a challenge to review. How do you analyse something that is clearly a first reading?
The big questions should never be answered on a horrendous hangover, but Joanne Ryan muses over them anyway. She has a wry wit, an ambivalent personality combining anger, apathy and the exhaustion that stems from caring about perception for too long. Eggsistentialism perfectly sums up her train of thought – a show about the biological clock that seems to be running faster and faster with each passing year. Ryan faces the big question head on, telling it to fuck off for a bit longer.