Southwark Playhouse (The Little)
Reviewed on Tuesday 30th September 2014
Geoffrey Nauffts' play tries to take a gay love story one step further, but I'm not convinced it actually does. Adam and Luke move in together and are determined to make their relationship work; however, things are complicated as Luke has yet to tell his parents about his sexuality plus he is religious whilst Adam is an atheist.
Of course this creates many hurdles for the pair and when Luke ends up in hospital, with his parents called to his bedside, Adam finds himself in an awkward situation. The play jumps back and forth in time, from before to during the hospital drama.
I think on paper this sounds like an exciting set-up for a play which pushes boundaries, but Next Fall actually plays it safe. The characters are all very predictable and the situation could be pushed further. Instead it is sharp and witty one-liners which keep the audience on their toes.
Charlie Condou leads the piece forward, rarely leaving the stage as Adam. I admire his performance as he allows the audience to warm to Adam, even though the character is continuously questioning everything and everyone. The two stand out performances come from Sirine Saba as Adam's best friend and Nancy Crane as Luke's mother who bring humour and heart.
Luke Sheppard's direction utilises the space while David Woodhead's design has totally transformed The Little (the smaller theatre at the Southwark Playhouse) - it looks ten times bigger compared to my previous two visits. Next Fall contains some nice moments, it is consistently funny and easygoing. There's nothing wrong with playing it safe; I just left the theatre feeling slightly underwhelmed.
Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)
Photo Credit: Robert Workman