vulcan 7

Lois Chimimba as Leela, Nigel Planer and Adrian Edmondson

Vulcan 7

Malvern Theatres


Back in the early 1980s, were leading the way with offbeat comedy in The Young Ones, which tapped into satire and popular culture in that era.

Four decades on and they have written this play together, which is just as acerbic and insightful when it comes to contemporary life.

Vulcan 7 may sound like a sci-fi but it's actually about a dysfunctional, competitive relationship between two feuding, ageing actors, who are brought together during filming of new movie Vulcan 7 on a glacier in Iceland.

Edmondson and Planer take on the main roles with support from an excellent Lois Chimimba as their long-suffering young film set assistant Leela.

Similar to their days in The Young Ones, Edmondson is the quirkier character. While he was once the aggressive punk medical student Vyvyan, he is now the alcoholic, wild ex Hollywood actor with a devil may care attitude.

While Planer is his straight man, full of angst and clean living. So some similarities to his role of Neil the hippie in the '80s.

It's an understated drama, full of insightful, witty conversation. It's also multi-layered, taking the audience from one argument and piece of history between the pair to another, so eventually the jigsaw pieces come together to give a fuller picture of their relationship.

Feuds make for great drama and even better lines, as seen in TV shows like the recent series charting the animosity between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

This intelligent comedy taps into that with some memorable lines and moments that will stay with you long after leaving the theatre.

There are jokes that relate to everything from #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein to Daniel Day Lewis, but there's also poignant comments about regret and a career as an actor.

On top of that, there is one of the best and most innovative sets you'll see in a touring show. It's simple but effective, depicting a trailer that is gradually affected by the moving glacier.

The chance to see two iconic actors from British comedy will be appealing to people who grew up adoring programmes like The Young Ones, Bottom and [ and it's refreshing to see that Edmondson and Planer aren't just on stage as a piece of nostalgia.

They have created something fresh, funny and relevant that strikes a chord with today's times. To 03-11-18

Alison Brinkworth


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