Friday, 12 September 2014

Review: Fully Committed at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Fully Committed 
Menier Chocolate Factory
Reviewed on Thursday 11th September 2014

I always have huge respect for actors who take on one-man plays. Unlike ensemble pieces they are unable to bounce off their fellow cast members and can only rely on their own energy and their relationship with the audience. Never before have I seen a one-man show like Fully Committed; playing over 40 characters, Kevin Bishop bounces off his own energy in the most extraordinary way imaginable.

Becky Mode's comedy was one of the first ever productions to be staged at the Chocolate Factory. It has returned to coincide with the theatre's tenth anniversary, which also sees Forbidden Broadway transfer to the West End. Bringing Fully Committed in a full circle, Mark Setlock - who starred in the show ten years ago - has directed this production.

Fully Committed is essentially a farce without lots of doors and mistaken identity. Instead the piece follows resting actor Sam Peliczowski who works in one of Manhattan's most sought after and busiest restaurants. Sam finds himself manning the phones, taking bookings and strange requests alone whilst trying to keep his colleagues and family happy too... it is a wonderful and mentally exhausting recipe for disaster.

I cannot begin to imagine what goes on inside Bishop's brain throughout the show. He effortlessly portrays countless characters within seconds of each other. To make it more impressive each character is so defined and never blurred with strong vocal trains and distinctly hilarious mannerisms. Providing one of the most impressive performances seen on a London stage all year, not once does Bishop's energy or dedication dip.

Fans of comedy must see this show; I doubt you will have ever seen anything like it. Here's to the next ten years of Chocolate Factory success!

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Fully Committed runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory until Saturday 15th November 2014. Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Catherine Ashmore

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