Mad North-North-West

Mark Kavanagh’s new laugh-a-minute play, Mad North-North-West, has hit the Camden Fringe with a bang! Set in a rehearsal room for an up-coming production of Hamlet, ‘William H. Bonny’ (Mark Kavanagh), a hitman posing as an actor and ‘Basildon Tate’ (Elliott Tiney), an actual actor whose real name is Timmy, play out a waiting game and endure each other’s company in the meantime, as Bonny holds out for the all clear to carry out his hit on the unsuspecting Tate.

Without doubt an hilarious and highly entertaining production.

The characters are ideal sitcom material – the straight-laced, no nonsense hardened killer versus the energetic, enthusiastic and dramatic actor – so as soon as Basildon enters, we’re laughing. The humour comes in various styles and guises, from Bonny attempting to fool Tate into believe he’s an actor and Tate’s regimes in his rehearsal warm-ups, to a farcical chase with dropped trousers of which the likes of Benny Hill and Robin Askwith would be proud. The gags and laughs are plentiful, clever, silly and brilliantly delivered by both actors.

Elliott Tiney gives a fantastic comedy performance, getting the best out of every joke and shows his expertise in the genre from his success with comedy sketch troupe Idiots of Ants and his solo stand-up act. Despite Basildon Tate being a highly-strung actor, who likes to have rules and respect for the rehearsal space and has childish strops when Bonny breaks them, we grow to like him and side with him.

Mark Kavanagh is excellent in finding the right balance between the tough killer and the comical absurdity. It would be easy to simply dislike Bonny, a murdering, heartless gunman, but Kavanagh gives him a vulnerability, softness and just enough endearing qualities to make the character really work well. Together, the duo is a great pairing and bounce off each other extremely well with superb rapport and some lovely physical comedy. The to-and-fros of control, the game of one-upmanship, are well written and magnificent to watch.

The storyline and script, from this first ever performance of the play, does need a little tightening and cutting in areas. A moment where the two stand off, arguing the morals of Bonny’s employment and earnings seemed to drag and the comedy dipped, there were a few too many ‘cock jokes’ and some comic moments may be missed by those with no theatrical connection - a quote from Stanislavski, references to Shakespearean plays and characters, and actors’ habits, for example. However, teething problems are inevitable from a play’s premiere outing and will, performance to performance, be improved upon and it is without doubt an hilarious and highly entertaining production nevertheless.

Basildon Tate says in one of his tantrums, “You would not get this at The National”, but Mad North-North-West will be a certain success wherever it goes.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

As actor Basildon Tate enters the theatre for the first day rehearsals of Hamlet his enthusiasm holds no bounds and he's very pleased to be working with newly acquainted fellow actor William. What Basildon doesn't realize is that William is in fact a hit-man sent to kill him. A dark comedy from Mark Kavanagh, writer of last year's hit Wake and staring Elliott Tiney from Idiots of Ants fame. Contains strong language.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets