Sometimes it seems that just the title of a show is enough to reel me in. So it was with Nigel Osner’s one-man show Too young to stay in, too old to go out! at the Etcetera Theatre as part of the Camden Fringe.
The show starts with a wonderful song that takes the show title and expands it to, as it happens, a very real description of my own life. What followed was a series of monologues, from various characters, all telling a story from their lives. Each was told either in poetry or song and each explored a different facet of the social life of a mature person.
Nigel is an excellent writer and, in each of the short scenes, he manages to bring real life to the character and the situation they find themselves in. Not only is the writing really good, but Nigel also gives them all a real personality. There is a lot of humour in Nigel’s writing and while there weren’t any real laugh out loud moments, there were a lot of chuckles. The audience, which was really mixed age-wise, all seemed to find something amusing about the stories, and Nigel has put together a nice selection, where there really is something for everyone. Of the various characters, my favourites were Gerald and his interesting evening, the interior designer and his gardener and, in particular, the wonderful, quiet old lady who just wants to knit on a European cruise.
Each sequence was introduced by Nigel – as himself – giving an insight into not only the character but his own life, which added a really lovely personal touch and established a great connection with the audience.
Overall, I really enjoyed Too young to stay in, (too old to go out!). Of the show, Nigel says “Whilst this show is for everyone, it is particularly aimed at an older audience” and as a person of semi-advanced years, I have to say that not only did I really like the fact that someone had thought about my generation when writing their show, but that they had put it on so well. The only problem was, as left the theatre and walked out into Saturday night on Clapham High Street, I was really undecided about one thing. Should I stay for a few drinks or head home and have a glass of wine with a good book?
Review by Terry Eastham
Nigel Osner returns to the Camden Fringe with his new show, first performed at the Brighton Fringe this year. He takes a quizzical look at the challenges and occasional opportunities for those who can no longer claim, even to themselves, that they are young. He examines dating, love, work, holidays – even the gym! Nigel illustrates his theme with original songs and stories by male and female characters. They include the older man having a taxing night out in central London; a rich designer who falls for his hunky gardener and the woman driven mad by her companion on a river cruise down the Danube. There’s lots of humour but with a bittersweet edge.
Too young to stay in, too old to go out!
Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street,
London NW1 7BU
17th – 19th August 2018