Sunday, 8 March 2015

Review: Lardo at the Old Red Lion Theatre

Old Red Lion Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 5th March 2015

Following Lardo from struggling guy to overnight sensation, Mike Stone's new play delves into the ugly world of wrestling - the glamour, the theatricality and the reality. As someone who knows very little about about wrestling I found the piece eye opening; I have never seen anything vaguely similar.

The Old Red Lion Theatre is small, hot and sweaty, allowing you to soak up the atmosphere and become fully engrossed. The audience are encouraged to chant along and cheer throughout, fully embracing the pub theatre vibe.

Daniel Buckley - who has previously played roles in the West End productions of The Book of Mormon and Loserville - impresses as an unrecognisable character. You can't help but feel some compassion for Lardo who finds himself at the centre of a crazy world. The supporting cast give their all; it is quite a ride.

I enjoyed the story of Stone's new play; however, the text could be tightened here and there. To stage a new play on the fringe is no easy task as rehearsals and previews are limited, yet the show still seemed to be in good shape and can only improve as the run progresses.

It's not very often you see a play which is completely different to anything else you will have ever seen before, but Lardo absolutely ticks that box. I hope word gets around the sporting world and that wrestling fans come and see this loud, bold and in-your-face new play.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Lardo runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre until Sunday 29th March 2015.
Please visit for further info and tickets.

Photo Credit: Gus Miller 

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