Review: Neil LaBute's Autobahn at the King's Head Theatre
Review: Wingman, Soho Theatre

Review: The Me Plays, Old Red Lion Theatre

Andrew Maddock in The Me Plays 2 (c) Hannah Ellis Photography
Andrew Maddock in The Me Plays Photo: Hannah Ellis Photography

Facets of everyday modern life are laid bare in a double bill of monologues written and performed by Andrew Maddock. The style is almost a poetic homage to laughable ordinariness and everyman tragedy.

In the first, Junkie, Maddock flits between childhood recollection and adulthood. As a young boy, pre-internet pornographic magazines are a voyage of discovery that seem so innocent in comparison to what is on offer online today. Likewise flirtation was done face to face whereas the man messages through dating app Tinder and agonises over whether to leave a kiss or not. 

As he gets ready for his date there are observations about fashion and encounters with 'youths' in Top Man. The tragedy and irony of the tale comes from the fact that technology is supposed to have opened up the world, made it easier to socialise and yet ultimately it provides our man with a security blanket underneath which it is easy to hide.

The second piece, Hi Life, follows a similar style flitting back and forth between childhood and adulthood touches on faith, death and education. A bizarre combination when you see it written down but the three all dovetail as the grief-fuelled teen rebels against a restrictive education system and subsequently gets sent to 'Jesus camp'.

As an adult our man is in hospital undergoing tests for something serious. The tables are turned and he has time to reflect on those closest and most influential to him.

Brilliantly performed on a simply set stage The Me Plays are powerful in their ordinariness. There is inevitably an element or two to recognise from your own life and as such plenty to laugh at and be moved by.

Each monologue is around 40 minutes and separated by an interval. The production runs at the Old Red Lion until 20 Sep

Related post: Interview with Andrew Maddock

And if you like this sort of theatre you may also enjoy Wingman at the Soho Theatre.