Clive Judd’s revival of David Halliwell’s ‘startlingly pertinent comedy’ comes nearly 50 years after it premiered at the Garrick Theatre.
The play follows Malcolm Scrawdyke, an art student who has been let down by the education system and forms a revolution. Pulling his all-too-willing friends Wick and Irwin with him, they form the Party of Dynamic Erection.
Daniel Easton’s self-confident Scrawdyke is desperate for power. He seems completely in control of every situation, until his is left alone with the audience. His monologues show a more self-conscious side to the character, when it comes to talking to Ann, the girl he’s in love with. Easton delivers an intelligent performance of a character that is constantly being something he is not.
The rest of the new political party is made up of Wick (Laurie Jamieson), Irwin (Barney McElholm) and Nipple (Scott Arthur). This strong company of young actors bring Halliwell’s characters to life and although the play is a little slow to start with, once the main plot starts, it goes at speed.
The gallery robbery simulation is a highlight of the play, as the characters plan to rob an art gallery and act it out in Scrawdyke’s bedsit. Halliwell’s brilliant text added with Judd’s genius, slick direction makes this sequence of the play very special.
When Ann (Rochenda Sandall) finally shows up in Act 3, the play changes. It becomes more of a drama than a comedy and show what too much power can do to you. This production eases you through the strange arc of this play, and that is down to both the cast and the director. A wonderful revival of a slightly strange play, led by a strong company of young actors, effortlessly directed by Clive Judd.
Review by Elliott Wallis
This 50th anniversary production of Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs, a revival of David Halliwell’s startlingly pertinent comedy, is the first in London in 16 years.
In a year when a general election was ‘fought’ amongst the privileged few, Halliwell’s comedy bursts with energy and bite and feels more relevant than ever before. Clive Judd directs following his success with the critically acclaimed Captain Amazing at Soho Theatre. Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs runs for a 4-week season in The Little at Southwark Playhouse from Wednesday 8 July to Saturday 1 August.
“You’ve all betrayed yourselves! You’ll be nothing but self-hating eunuchs. Disobey! Disobey like freemen!”
The North. A young man rejected by an institution, let down by the system, starts a revolution. In his flat. In Huddersfield, the centre of everything. Malcolm Scrawdyke is a man screaming at the walls. Uniting his friends he aims to take vengeance on a world that has spat him out. The aim? Absolute power for powers sake. The Party of Dynamic Erection is forming, which side are you on? You self-hating Eunuch!
Cast:: Daniel Easton (Reynaldo, Hamlet, RSC; Bagot, Richard II, Donmar Warehouse); Barney McElholm (Sirens, Arcola); Scott Arthur; Laurie Jamieson (Weekend Rockstars, Hull Truck); Rochenda Sandall (Coriolanus, National Theatre).
Creative Team: Director Clive Judd Designer Eleanor Field Casting Matthew Dewsbury – Produced by Soggy Arts in association with Folie à Deux Productions
Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs
77-85 Newington Causeway
London SE1 6BD
Box Office: 020 7407 0234
Sunday 12th July 2015