Monday, 16 July 2012

Teary Pride

The first performance of Los Feliz, acted by Robin Holden, took place on Saturday at the Lord Stanley in Camden. It's set in a diner in L A, where the curtain rises on a man half-way through his hamburger. A conversation begins with a man at another table, ostensibly about the freeway system in Los Angeles, but it soon moves onto the diner's personal life. First we learn  he is divorced and no longer sees his young daughter, then we hear the story he has to tell about a woman he recently met.

It's a short piece, lasting no more than 30 minutes, with little action except the diner finishing his meal and pouring himself coffee, but it had me gripped from beginning to end. As the story unfolds, we see deeper into the diner's character and his growing need for the woman he meets. Robin's portrayal of the man's conflicted emotions as the relationship develops is masterly, from his almost astonished smile as he glimpses the possibility of love to the confusion and anger that overcome him when complications arise. We do not necessarily like this man - he does not always like himself - but because he opens his heart, we cannot help but empathise with him. And when an actor reveals so much of a character, of his hopes and his longing and fears, my eyes inevitably water.

I know, I know, I'm biased. I wrote the piece. I know the story backwards. But Robin, under Emma King-Farlow's direction, has both given the character life and more depth than I was aware of when I wrote the original story. He - and she - have made me proud to have created him. Thank you both for what you have done. I seriously recommend that if you are in London, you come and see him in Camden on 28th July. If you are not impressed, I'll refund your ticket. (Find time and details by clicking the poster at the top of the column on the right.)

Picture is of models, not Robin or Emma

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