Review by Paul Nelson
WITH almost a young Shakespeare's vision, Ben Glanfield has written
his own comedy of errors which, alas for me, turns sour and becomes
an extremely serious play.
Static, presented by Two's Company at the Union Theatre,
starts off as a delightful and simple plot of mistaken motives.
Two young men send to each of their intendeds identical St Valentine's
Day presents. To make matters more delightful, they, cuddly toys,
are sent in identical boxes.
Each young man, on identical sheets of paper, sends what is in
effect a mash note.
Rob sends a love poem, declaring his undying love for Sarah;
Tom, on a more basic note, sends what amounts to a lewd offer
of a quick shag to Lucy.
You've guessed it; the parcels get into the wrong hands.
Lucy is enchanted. Tom is, after all, a walking, steaming mass
of testosterone, to have him display a love as true and as pure
as a Victorian poet is too suffusing.
Sarah is affronted. What she thought was a possible match, maybe
after a few dates and getting to know each other on a much more
stable base, is assailed by a frank offer of a fuck.
Here the play changes from what I thought was going to be a charming
comedy with the right girl getting the right man into an examination
The author is content to leave both couples in a lonely state
of near hatred and disgust.
What a shame. I was hoping to herald the advent of a new major
Glanfield is a major new talent. His play, though unsatisfactory
in my romantic eyes, is a knockout of precision, and he has a
cast (which includes himself) and an astute director to make a
go of the evening.
Simmering with glistening sex appeal is Craig Giovanelli, as
Tom. He is the stuff porno films are made of. Also, he has a powerful
stage presence apart from his reeking of the aftermath of the
Utterly bewildered and totally shattered by a declaration of
true love from a man she thought a boor is Charlotte Milchard,
Her wide-eyed innocence and awakening dream world in the wake
of a love poem of purity and devotion is something to almost bring
you to tears. Her show of strength, when she is definitely going
to cut her wrists or throat, is really alarming.
Disillusionment, which seems to have always been sitting on Sarah's
brow, is electrifyingly portrayed by Kacy Chapman. If I had thought
that she was a tartar at the beginning of the play then by the
end she was a WMD.
Which leaves us with the author, who plays the romantic poet,
I half suspect he will be kicking himself that he didn't see
the role through the eyes and talent of another actor, but he
need not worry.
His performance is more than adequate, and it is probably a truism
that playing a nice guy never quite achieves the heights or depths
of playing a nasty piece of work.
The evening is again a triumph of Union management taste, which
seems these days to be the stock in trade of this theatre.
I need hardly say to you that you would be a fool to miss it.
Static by Ben Glanfield, Directed by Janey Clarke, Lighting
Steve Miller, Designer Jason Ions, Fight Director Lewis Penfold.
WITH: Charlotte Milchard (Lucy), Craig Giovanelli (Tom), Ben Glanfield
(Rob), and Kacy Chapman (Sarah). Produced by Two's Company and
presented at the Union Theatre, 204 Union Street, Southwark, SE1.
Tickets 020 77261 9876.
Our picture shows Craig Giovanelli (as Tom) and Charlotte
Milchard (as Lucy). Ity was kindly supplied by Stagephoto.co.uk