“A unique perspective on village life amid gentrification” – Theater Review: Village idiot @ Nottingham Playhouse

Kyra Patterson

the raucous comedy, village idiot, written by Samson Hawkins, was staged at the Nottingham Playhouse. The play incorporated musical numbers, magic, drag, and stand-up on stage, while the story provided a unique perspective on the life of the villagers amid the progression of gentrification. ImpactKyra Patterson reviews.

village idiot describes the family disputes surrounding the different opinions on the construction of the HS2 railway. Dirty-mouthed Barbara, played by Eileen Nicholas, wants to fight to keep her home in Syresham and will do whatever spying and gossip is necessary to avoid ending up in a “death camp” (i.e. a nursing home).

I found the cast to be appropriately diverse, as Faye Wiggan and Maximillian Fairley, who played cutesy couple Debi and Harry, described what life can entail for disabled people. They warmed up the crowd in the prologue by being extremely explicit from the start of the show. One poignant moment I found in the play was a scene in which the couple expresses the grievances they endure as people with disabilities, from being expected to be dependent and following others, to not being allowed to make their own mistakes because others commit them. for them. Hawkins champions diversity by allowing the audience to put themselves in the shoes of these misunderstood characters.

His farm accent transformed the entire space into the green pastures of Syresham.

Another actor who delivered was Mark Benton, who played the cheeky and lovable father Kevin. His farmer accent transformed the entire space into the green pastures of Syresham. The authenticity with which he portrayed Kevin further emphasized the effects of capitalism and gentrification on the hardworking farm folk who built this country and the treatment of the working class in society.

The standout performance of the night came from actor Joseph Langdon, who played Liam: simple yet handsome, emotional yet youthful, and genuinely funny. His one-liners not only amused the crowd, but his heartfelt declaration of love won their hearts. I think he deserves the utmost respect for his portrayal of a hard-working young man facing the struggles of poverty while also harboring a secret.

This boldly offensive comedy was a thoroughly enjoyable watch.

Aside from the main plot, the setting doubled as Syresham’s Got Talent. This worked as much-needed comic relief from the major themes of class, race, gender identity, sexuality, and disability. During this immersive village performance, the audience witnessed musical numbers, a Cher drag act by actor Philip Labey and a rap performance on environmental rights by Langdon.

I found that Hawkins played into the controversial current issues in British culture and politics by including entertaining jokes about the royal family, Brexit and sentiment towards the haughty townsfolk commonly referred to in the play as ” the villagers”. Consideration of these kinds of topics spawned many relatable jokes.

This boldly offensive comedy was a thoroughly enjoyable watch. After seeing village idiotI would highly recommend others to check out more of Samson Hawkins’ work!

village idiot will end on the 25thhe March 2023. You can buy tickets at https://nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/events/village-idiot/.

Kyra Patterson

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Use permission granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

Article image courtesy of @nottmplayhouse via Instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.

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