HALF A PERSON: MY LIFE AS TOLD BY THE SMITHS
by Alex Broun.
King’s Head Theatre 115 Upper Street Islington N1 1QN To 16 February 2014.
2,3,9,10, 16 Feb 7.15pm Mat 16 Feb 3pm.
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 0207 478 0160.
Review: William Russell 27 January.
Just William is good enough.
A knowledge of who The Smiths were does help, but even if one has never heard of them, let alone of a singer called Morrissey, this one-man play by Alex Broun is a thoroughly splendid affair.
The Smiths were, of course, a celebrated Rock band for a few years in the 1980s and the various members, including Steven Morrissey, have gone on to careers on their own.
William, a 20 something Londoner, played with great panache by Joe Presley, is a bit of a drifter, a coffee-bar boy dreaming about his heroes and generally wasting his time. He meets Salome, an interesting girl, and starts a relationship with her. He also has a best friend, Rick, a writer, who is older than he is and who panders to his love of The Smiths.
The girl goes home to Wythenshawe and he finds to his horror when he follows her that from being a pale, interesting and rather dangerous free spirit she has turned into a WAG and moved in with an old footballer schoolfriend, and that Rick, who would let him play his Smith albums when he was feeling down, has contracted something or other and is dying.
It is one of those rites of passage tales in which William learns a thing or two about life, love and being alive. Presley, who has an appealing stage presence, handles the monologue with great skill, warbles the odd Smith song from time to time, and Broun has come up with some crisp and funny lines. The result is a thoroughly satisfying experience.
William: Joe Presley.
Director: Donald Pulford.
Sound and Lighting/Sound: Mike Hurley.