TTMOOTV Theatre & Film Company’s Journos is the new play by producer/actor Jamie Alexander Eastlake and co-writer/actor Adam Donaldson who did rather well at last year’s Fringe with Big School. This year’s offering revolves around the goings on at the Daily Parade, a provincial tabloid staffed by cynical male hacks and overseen by an absent female editor.
From the start the delivery was mumbled and too fast - especially given that the Geordie accent is not the easiest to follow - and showed no consideration for international audience members. Further into the show, it became difficult to understand whether the characters were talking about Jill (the editor) or Joe (the journo). Quite a few lines were fluffed; at one point, an actor corrected another actor who had mis-named him, which should have just been passed over unacknowledged.
Then suddenly, in the middle of the play, the World Trade Centre is attacked. Some sort of indication of the play’s setting should have given the audience prior indication as to the impending event, thus allowing them to sympathise with the characters who are going about their daily banter unaware of what is to come. And it seems that one of the characters, Johnnie, unmentioned before and after, is at WTC for some reason.
It is encouraging to see smatterings of talent and humour amid this mess of a play, though it would perhaps work better as a three-hander to focus the characters and avoid the confusion. The juvenile locker-room banter used in the script is openly sexist and homophobic and this, coupled with the overuse of profanities, should require this production to have a 16+ rating.Adam Donaldson as Eddy shone as a performer, perhaps because the others were so amateur, and was the only believable character. However, his and Eastlake’s script felt unfinished, the characters not properly developed, and the audience did not know when to applaud at the end. In the words of Eastlake’s character, ‘Nothing to see here, people’.