Jermyn Street is back and open to audiences again. The West En may be seeing the return of a couple of stalled in their tracks by Covid 19 hit musicals, plus a lot of past their sell by date long running shows with first out the starting post being The Mousetrap. the Agatha Christie who dunnit about which everybody knows who dunnit. But from Jermyn Street something completely different. a splendid revival of Biyi Bandale’s play directed by Ebenezer Bamgboy. It is rather like Godot enters No 9, a corruscating mixture of words, ideas and whatever seems to have come into Bandale’s mind when writing it. Banza (Michael Fatogun) and Lagbaja (Daon Broni) share a cluttered shack, laundry hangs from a line, there is a supermarket trolley piled high with junk, a double bed littered with clothing and a small table at which they sometimes sit to eat. They are road sweepers whiling the time with rambling conversations, but as these take wing can they be father and son, why are they at loggerheads, what is the purpose of the revolver and why does one of them get the urge to masturbate while the other embarks on a long tale about passing wind at school. Are they just passing the time making things up to escape from a dreary depressing life? Or is it all true?
The words flow with abandon, the jokes are funny, there are moments of tension and some when you cringe. It is theatre of the absurd, a play that could only work in a theatre and the text is delivered at a rate of knots by the actors.The menu ahead for the West End so far is very much the tried and tested, or small cast fringe shows rescued from oblivion. Jermyn Street has come up with the totally unexpected. The tiny theatre, which was damaged by a flood just after lockdown brought it production of The Tempest to a halt, is back in business with the necessary social distancing and pandemic rules observed.
Lagbaja: Daon Broni.
Banza: Michael Fatogun.
Director: Dbenezer Bamgboye.
Designer: Louie Whitemore.
Lighting Designer: Johanna Town.
Sound Designer: Max Pappenheim.