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Theatre Review: Never Trust A Man Bun @ Stockwell Playhouse

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Some people like surprises, but when Lucy comes home to find that her best friend and roommate Gus has gotten back with his on-off girlfriend Rachael, the last thing she is in the mood for is the surprise double date Rachel has arranged the same evening.

In Katherine Thomas' new comedy Never Trust A Man Bun we are presented with the classic sit com concept of a group of twenty somethings in an apartment, and the intrigues that follow.

Image courtesy of Stockwell Playhouse

The play starts out with some lovely funny moments, and it seems to be a feel-good play, but as it goes on and the arguments increase, it’s clear that this isn’t just a upbeat comedy but that Katherine Thomas is also exploring a darker side of being a millenial. 

The actors are very well cast. Jack Forsyth Noble as the handsome yet mischievous “Man-Bun” Caps, plays his role with great comedic timing, and a dubious two-facedness that he very quickly shows Lucy and the audience, as we realise that he has a very different plan with how the evening should be going.

Natasha Grace Hutt is very good as the ditsy Rachael, but it’s a shame that the character is written a bit one-dimensionally. Natasha Grace Hutt shows a great sense of comedy very early on, and it would have given the play something if she didn’t have to just play the “dumb blonde” stereotype.

Calum Robshaw has the audience on his side as the sweet yet insecure Gus, and we feel with him when he has to meet Caps wearing an apron, and when Lucy, his supposed best friend, embarrasses him. Robshaw creates a sincerity and likability that really suits the character.

Unfortunately, the lack of character development in the script leaves these great comedy actors a bit hanging, as the only character that feels fully formed is the protagonist Lucy (Katherine Thomas).

The acting is well directed by Scott Le-Crass, but the script needs more work. The storyline is funny, but there is a lot of repetition of jokes, which works at times, but it also becomes a bit dull, which is sad, as the jokes are very well delivered.

The protagonist Lucy is very interesting, and Katherine Thomas plays this character well. She hides between her sarcasm and humour, trying to fool the world and herself into believing she is doing fine, when really she is very alone in the world having pushed most people away.

Having seen the play done before in a smaller space, Theatre N16, I  feel like it is better suited for a more intimate scene, with the audience closer to the action.

The story line and plot are promising, and the set up of the story is great, but Katherine Thomas needs to do some more work on the body of the script, and then it would develop into something that could really work. At the moment both the humour and the melancholy lacks impact, which is a shame as it could be formed into something really good with such a strong director and acting team.

Never Trust A Man Bun ran at Stockwell Playhouse until 24th Match, and more information can be found here.




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