British Actress, travel junkie and connoisseur of all things fabulous. Emma's love of performing began at a young age and never left. Not quite as sweet as she looks.
Thursday night’s adventure found the Camel Stub team at the Courtyard Playhouse for Dubai Drama Group’s production of Absurd Person Singular. All of us are a fan of Alan Ayckbourn’s work so we were particularly excited to see this production. Unfortunately, Phil had to return home to the Mothership and was unable to join the other Camel Stub-bers so, not wanting him to miss out, we brought a little piece of him with us.
So …what’s it all about I hear you cry? Well, in a nutshell, the play is divided into three acts, and documents the changing fortunes of three married couples. Each act takes place at a Christmas celebration at one of the couples’ homes on successive Christmas Eves.
This led to a slick three scenery set up, that was changed each act, allowing the audience two 15 minute breaks …. as opposed to the usual one interval. Being majorly spoilt here! This allowed ample time for the audience to refresh themselves. I must say say that myself and ‘Phil’ did enjoy our glass bottle cokes, as well as a few stolen french cheese crisps I ‘acquired’ from Romesh.
The set was well designed and constructed allowing the actors to interact with the kitchen set up perfectly. Sound effects for running water, and the rain outside were timed accurately and enhanced the overall production. Having six people on stage at once is tricky, but the entire play was well staged – and a testament to Penny MacKenzie’s direction.
The cast personified their roles beautifully and the different characters were carried well by a cast of six strong actors. Comedic timing is everything in a script like this and the whole cast were well timed in their deliveries, and obviously gifted in this genre.
Hats off to Bryan Mackenzie who displayed one of the best “I’ve just got my fingers stuck in a socket and am being electrocuted whilst standing on a table” performances I’ve ever seen. A round of applause from the audience came after, and was well deserved.
There was a dip in energy towards the end of the play, and at times, the cast seem to be merely reciting their lines for laughs and not really listening and reacting to what had just been said. The piece is a satirical farce, but we are dealing with topics such as unemployment and suicide and I thought the the real-ness and desperation of the characters, could have been portrayed more authentically.
At 2 hours and 20 minutes Absurd Person Singular is a long play – meaning plenty of time for serious bum twitching and body fidgeting. However, I think this was more an Emma issue as looking around it didn’t seem to be a universal problem.
I thoroughly enjoyed my night out at Absurd Person Singular and if you are a fan of Alan Ayckbourn’s work – or even that of Oscar Wilde – I would say this is a play not to be missed. So scoot your ass over to the Courtyard Playhouse before it finishes and enjoy the hilarious antics. Well done Dubai Drama Group … looking forward to the next production!
Absurd Person Singular runs until Sunday 4th December with daily performances at 8pm, as well as a matinee at 4pm on Friday 2nd December. Tickets are ‘free’ but a there is a suggested contribution of 100 AED to cover costs.