Until the 27th August (18.05)
Watching Alex Griffin-Griffiths play Marc in Sugar Baby could well be one of those ‘I-was-there’ moments, witnessing the hatching into mature brilliance of a dashing, young actor from Wales. He’s been steadily learning his craft, including playing Richard III in the Sam Wanamaker Festival at the Globe, & was in the Summerhall Roundabout itself last year with the cheeky TuckShop collaboration. Aye, I love the roundabout, a mini-bigtop where studying the reactive faces of one’s fellow audience members actually adds to the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, the character Alex was playing was hard to both identify with & to understand, such was the speed of his life in Wales & eagerness to talk about it. After a while I kinda just switched off from it all & simply immersed myself in the performance of Griffin-Griffiths. In solo theatre, if you connect with the character, it becomes really difficult to enjoy a play, there’s no escape, no polite focusing one’s attentions on another actor or actress – you’re trapped. In this instance, Marc is a wee ned from Cardiff, who has got into a spot of trouble with Oggy – a fellow who everyone seems to owe £6000 to. It was all a bit to stuffed to the brim for a one-man show, & the story would have been much better told by using real people instead of depicting them through the mouth of Griffin-Griffiths. Yet, this actor save the day somewhat, & perhaps he needs such an enthusiastic & full-power play such as Sugar Baby to propel him into his pomp.
Sugar Baby will also be the first play evaluated by the advanced Mumble system. As Stagecraft, Performance & Script all contribute to ascertaining the overall star-score, so to these can be subdivided into three groups. Using this system we will be able to obtain with almost scientific accuracy the proper worth of any piece or performance art, for this is the proper job of the critic, rounding up & down on instinct as many reviewers do, should be rendered as obsolete as a scratchy old phonograph.
Script: Eloquence (3) Drama (3) Plot (2)
Stagecraft: Atmosphere (3) Blocking (5) Aesthetic (2)
Performance: Chemistry (5) Delivery (5) Entertainment (4)