The lights go up and before meeting Sandro Monetti, faces of the rich and famous Hollywood elite litter poster boards on stage and it seems we are looking in on his teenage past. In fact, this is what the showbiz reporter proudly presents as his interview repertoire from his time in Hollywood, where he works as a freelance celebrity journalist for the British media.
As it emerges, Monetti had stars in his eyes from a young age, adoring the great and good of the silver screen and dreaming of meeting them one day, so those posters do indeed seem to represent a one-time teen dreamer and a man who is now donning his 'Blackpool lad done good' cap.
The one-man show has been brought to the stage in a time of celebrity-obsessed culture, when the average Joe gorges on even the tiniest and most insignificant snippets about the stars. By his own admission, Monetti has many-a-story to tell about LA's A-list from his interviews, press junkets and meetings, and, because of the questions on everyone's lips about his famous protagonists, he has decided to quench their thirst for knowledge with his four-date tour.
While we hear much about Monetti himself, his biggest idols and first-person build up to said interviews, unfortunately he fails to deliver on the juicy details. We discover Clooney's love of his iPhone but not the reason why Monetti thinks it interesting as a story for his own audience; we know he dreams of marrying his ultimate pin-up Scarlett Johansson, and that she said the word 'whatever' to him after he informed her it was his birthday during an interview, but not why it 'didn't get much better than that' afterwards. And just why does Simon Cowell call him 'trouble'?
In a world where the magazine shelves are filled with celebrities doing nothing in particular, the general public's appetite for their inside lives has reached a hungry peak – and this story-teller leaves his audience dissatisfied. His anecdotes lack any real conclusion or depth and Monetti's inaccurate impressions of the planet's most familiar stars mean the sketches' delivery seem little more than tales told down the pub.
But perhaps the mystery and magic of Hollywood is being protected slightly by Monetti to ensure his insider's view is not put under threat and he is able to get privileged access to the world's most sought-after celebs.
- Claire Smith