Angry Young Man
  • By Pete Shaw
  • |
  • 1st Aug 2005
  • |
  • ★★★★★

I firmly believe Ben Woolf is one of the most originally talented writers in the world. Angry Young Man is Woolf's follow up to Western and Monologue for an Ensemble, and it doesn't disappoint.

Angry Young Man is a monologue, and then it's satire, and then it's physical theatre. It's all of these things. Four obscenely talented actors tell the story of a Russian in London, each slipping in and out of the main role, Yuri, with the style of a synchronised swimmer.

Yuri arrives at Stanstead an immigrant. He is befriended by the ever-so-slightly psychotic Patrick (who has recently fallen victim to an email scam) and Patrick's coy but sassy girlfriend Alison. What ensues is a comic tour de force as Yuri gets to grips with the eccentricity of English life.

The actors, Hywell John, Gary Shelford, Alex Waldmann and author/director Ben Woolf himself allow the audience to get comfortable with the format, and then play internal games with each other. Poor Ben often is the butt of the humour, and ends up playing a dog or a moose head. Themes repeat to make the commonplace absurdist. This is fantastically clever stuff.

The humour is intelligent, contemporary and side-achingly funny. The characterisations, particularly by Hywell John (“Sherry?“) literally had me in tears. If this show doesn't make you laugh out loud, I suggest you see a doctor to check you're not dead.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Assembly George Square Studios

The House

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace Notes

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

The Jungle Book

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

★★★★
Multiple Venues

A Spoonful Of Sherman

★★★★★
Pleasance Theatre

Assassins

★★★★

The Blurb

Pleasance Queendome, 3-29 Aug. 8.20pm (1hr)