Step 9 (of 12), a new piece by the Offie-nominated playwright Rob Hayes is the second piece of his I’ve seen, and it blew the first out the water. More considered, fluid and conscious than the first yet maintaining his special, dark, comic tone.
It tells the story of Keith, played by Mark Weinman, an alcoholic who is apologising for his past. Weinman, who is apparently also nominated for an Offie, led the evening effortlessly. He plays the lead role of Keith with skill, specificity and humility, pitching the performance perfectly for the intimate space of the New Britannia Theatre.
So remarkable was the work, that my eyes were only momentarily drawn away from him by the marginally underwhelming (if only by comparison) performances of Judith and Alan, (Lesley Curtis and Alan Vicary). Despite being a completely enthralling hour and ten, the direction, by Gabriel Vick had moments of clumsiness – not to mention the fact his phone was buzzing throughout!
Both Weinman and Hayes are undoubtedly names to watch for the future. This is, quite genuinely, fringe theatre at it’s absolute best, do try and catch this show before it finishes.