The best one man show I have ever had the pleasure to see, Captain Amazing more than lives up to its name. Mark Weinman is a wonder to behold, a master of the art he dazzles as a normal bloke having a difficult time.
Alistair McDowall's monologue takes us on a trip through the seemingly mundane, monotonous life of Mark. Mark’s nothing special, he’s going bald and works at B&Q, yet suddenly life happens and he’s handed a date, then a wife and then a daughter - and to her he’s Captain Amazing. Weinman flips back and forth through a host of characters: Captain Amazing himself, Emily, his wife, with astounding fluency; perfectly capturing each of them with one facial expression. The scene changes are gorgeous too, no set is used but a series of sketches are projected onto a screen complementing the comic book theme. As Mark’s life begins to unravel we learn, with Emily, that superheroes can’t always save the day, and fathers can’t always make things right.
The real strength of the writing lies in its simplicity. McDowall is not afraid to be creative, intertwining the superhero sequences perfectly, but he knows when to hang back. The power of the piece shines through Weinman’s pared down delivery of the seemingly obvious lines, usually spoken by Emily, creating devastatingly honest moments. It’s a perfect example of less is more and Weinman knows exactly how to time it. It has its fair share of humour too; if we’re not almost crying, we’re laughing, and the balance is brilliant - Weinman doesn’t dwell long enough for the piece to feel depressing.
Captain Amazing is a beautiful show. You will marvel, cry and laugh.