Captain Amazing (Newcastle)

The set is sparse. A screen, three red boxes and a stage. Not amazing by any stretch of the imagination. And yet every super-hero needs the gadgets and gismos, and a massive set of production values that feed our senses. Then we can feel safe and secure in the knowledge, we won’t be let down? Believe me, you won’t be.

The central character, and indeed the whole cast is played with humour, style, flair, panache and amazing presence by Mark Weinman. An intense performance that is moving and funny in equal measure. For those of you that know the venue itself, it is an intimate space that requires a subtle performance style. The play itself, I won’t do a ‘spoiler’! Is funny, frenetic, at times absurdist, poignant, uncomfortable and extremely heart-rending. Alistair McDowall has written a play that addresses a man’s struggle with the complex world of banal daily events, finding a place in the world, and when he has: how to keep it safe and secure. That’s when escapism and freeing the imagination seems to be a dream away. How to deal with the pressure and heartache that life can bring is central to this play. But as we discover, Captain Amazing is in the end, each of us in the audience?

The simple but v very effective direction from Clive Judd raises this piece to even greater heights, and what is presented on stage is a work of pure joy. As mentioned the simplistic setting is powerful in its minimalism. This play has a very short run at the Live, so I urge you to experience the world of the amazing Captain, Captain Amazing.