If a script is written as a one-woman (or one-man) handler, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a boring stand-up show based on a holler, singular voice. In fact monologues full of character, wit and emotion can be extremely insightful, so it is left to esteemed playwrights to tell a good story – and for the lead cast to tell it right!
Showing at the Bread and Rose Theatre, Clapham North, Scottish actress and producer, Louise McMenemy performs with supreme verve and breathes life to Daniel MacIvor’s creative and animated words. Directed by Scott Le Crass, Richard Cooper designed a small, almost, four metre long set with a rudimentary platform of a two car-sitter on one side and amplifiers and speakers on the other. The middle section is a grey concrete highway where Bob hitchhikes a ride and waits for the next stranger or, possibly, dangerous weirdo to pick her up.
Canadian playwright, director and actor, Daniel MacIvor has had his theatrical works performed internationally. Originally produced by da da kamera in 1989, See Bob Run isn’t about a guy called Bob, on the run but a young teenage girl called Roberta (nicknamed Bob) running away from something, but we don’t know what. Yet much is revealed as Bob jumps in and out of various cars on the great murky abyss of the superhighway – having quirky, personal, impersonal, odd and withdrawn conversations – which suck audiences down into her dark past and relives her most happiest and traumatising memories.
For one thing, you can’t hear McMenemy’s Scottish accent and she seemed to have perfected her Canadian. The little pieces of anecdotes, analogies and heartfelt scenes have a nostalgic-feel about them, felt by men and women alike (I know I did), reminding us of our first encounter with a crush, first time in a gig with friends or fond childhood memories with our parents.
Sadly, nothing is as it seems for Bob. She is like a little princess stuck in a growing girl’s body. This hour long one-woman handler was delivered dynamically – and went fast! McMenemy’s captured moments of calm and calamity and mashed them together, making it an incredibly absorbing performance.
See Bob Run is an emotional whirlpool. One moment, you will laugh and in another you may feel the need to grab McMenemy’s Bob and give her a hug to let her know that things were going to be alright and that there’s no need to run, at all.
Review by Mary Nguyen
New Blue Road Presents
SEE BOB RUN
By Daniel MacIvor
Directed by Scott Le Crass. Performed by Louise McMenemy
Cast: Louise McMenemy as Bob
Director: Scott Le Crass
Production/Stage Manager: Adam Scales
Movement Director: Angela Gasparetto
Associate Producer: Bradley Leech
A new production of the acclaimed Canadian one-woman-show.
Bob is on the road. Bob is on the run. But from what, or whom, is she running? Follow Bob as she hops from car to car telling her story to unsuspecting drivers as she tries to put her life in the rear-view mirror. Will she make it to her destination? And what will she find when she gets there?
See Bob Run
See Bob Run
Bread and Roses Theatre
68 Clapham Manor Street, Clapham SW4 6DZ, London
Tuesday 23rd to Saturday 27th February 2016