If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You by John O’Donovan
The Vaults (short walk from Waterloo Stations) until 25th February
Runs 1 hr 10 minutes, no interval
Veronica Stein, 15th February, 2018.
Heavy-weight discussions, but never heavy going. Heroes all round.
Casey and Mikey have been having an amazing halloween, between robbing a petrol station and breaking in to Casey’s own house…that is, until the coppers show up. Now, stuck on the roof until the coast is clear, they review their loot, revel in being alone together- they are also lovers- and then review their pasts and futures in the way one can only do when stuck twenty feet above the ground.
Mikey, played with impressive verve by Alan Mahon, is proud of who he is despite his trouble with the law and his history of physical altercations with his old homophobic peers. Casey (the intriguing and sensitive Josh Williams) comes from London and is an interloper in Ennis, a small town in Western Ireland. As outcasts it is no wonder they’ve found each other, but the brilliant chemistry between the two, both as written and as played, has kept them together.
If We Got Some More Cocaine is vitally cohesive in design. Suspending our disbelief that Casey and Mikey are twenty feet above the ground is made far easier via Georgia de Grey’s roof set and Derek Anderson’s soft and unimposing evening light. Sue Mythnen’s movement additionally provides moments of levity and panic as the two, like lizards, crawl to assess their situation and embrace. Despite being stuck in a small playing space, it is much to the production’s credit that we don’t feel stuck with them, for the use of the set is imaginative and effective in equal measure.
The heroes of the evening are the actors and John O’Donovan’s script. Despite the heavy issues discussed, the play is never lethargic- in large part due to O’Donovan’s droll one-liners and Mahon and Williams’s skill. More impressive is how despite the short running time, If We Got Some More Cocaine feels expansive in scope due to the impeccable timing of the laying out of its layers.
Mahon and Williams are mesmerizing in Casey and Mikey’s romance and in their brutal histories, and despite their unique upbringings are universal in many ways: who hasn’t been obsessed with their past, or desperate for their future? Who hasn’t been both loath to stay and terrified of running? Watching the two have the hour, twenty feet up, to contend with their different circumstances and perspectives before they may just lose everything, is comfortable in its familiarity and provocative in its poignancy.
Mikey: Alan Mahon
Casey: Josh Williams
Director: Thomas Martin
Designer: Georgia de Grey
Lighting: Derek Anderson
Sound/Composition: Jon McLeod
Associate Lighting: Sheila Murphy
Movement: Sue Mythnen