**** Nick Hornby meets Nabokov in a video library
Nick Whitfield and Wes Williams have created what looks like a "lad" show about films, but goes deeper and is deceptively complex.
The character types may be straight out of Hornby's High Fidelity – the slightly floundering narrator figure Alex, and Elvis, the doctrinaire who won't rent out Sleepless In Seattle to anyone who hasn't first seen The Manchurian Candidate. But look past the superficial, boyish delights of the movie references and there's far more going on here. As in the duo's acclaimed 1996 Fringe show Albert Camus, What's The Score?, which examined the writer by looking at his footballing career, Whitfield and Williams use the main conceit to delve into issues of individual responsibility, facing the future and finding a path through life.
Whitfield's solo performance is low-key but endearing; we feel ourselves grappling with the big questions along with Alex, as he navigates through friendship, work, family and ambitions both material and existential. His stage presence is augmented by a trio of short films ranging from shoestring genre pastiche to conceptual art. Naomi Wilkinson's economical design, too, proves that you don't need to do Fringe shows on an empty black box of a stage. This show deserves bigger audiences.
Written for divento.com
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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