Monster Raving Loony
New play by James Graham
Theatre Royal Plymouth & Soho Theatre
Director: Simon Stokes
Cast: Vivienne Acheampong, Joseph Alessi, Tom Attwood, Camilla Beeput, Joanna Brookes, Jack Brown and Samuel James
“…the cast are impressively versatile, switching roles and styles in the blink of an eye and trotting out some delightfully accurate impressions.”
“Samuel James brings a carefully judged mix of mirth and desolation to the lead, and there are versatile performances around him — from comedian Vivienne Acheampong, the amusingly deadpan Jack Brown, Joe Alessi as Alf Garnett among others, and Joanna Brookes, who’s particularly good as Peter Cook.”
“In the lead, Samuel James offers a barnstorming performance, all strutting gait and eye-popping leer, though he’s given tough competition by Joanna Brookes, who somehow segues gracefully from a spell as Su Pollard to one half of Pete and Dud.”
“The six-strong cast is required to impersonate just about every British comedian from Morecambe and Wise to Tony Hancock to name but a few.
It’s a tall order for any actor, especially when crossing boundaries of race and gender, but they carry it off in style. Joe Alessi brings Alf Garnett back to life while Joanna Brookes is his equal as “silly moo” Dandy Nichols in Till Death Us Do Part.
Samuel James strides through it all as the bewildered, naive, anarchic, innocent and benignly rebellious leader, raising the roof with a stunning rendition of I Who Have Nothing and subtly shading Sutch’s depressive side which led to his suicide following the death of his mother.”