New York Stories

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting to see when I arrived at the Rialto Theatre. New York Stories appealed to me, primarily due to my love of Yankee accents, and boy, they didn’t disappoint! The stage was set plainly; three stools and a projector screen set above the stage. As the lights come up, you’re introduced to the three stars of the show: Brandon McGuire, Dave Mounfield and Duncan Henderson. The three play a mix-match of characters throughout the play, all just as charming as each other.

you almost forget you’re not in 1930s New York City, but actually in 21st century Brighton

The first of the two carefully chosen New York Stories tells the tale of an eating challenge between two of the greatest eaters in the US. Mr Nicely Nicely is the New York competitor who, only a month before the event, has been forced into a strict diet by his beautiful fiancée, who claims she will not consider marrying someone who is overweight. At this disastrous news, they put their efforts into a second competitor on the advice of Mr Nicely Nicely’s fiancée. The second competitor is a woman who, after much careful training, manages to outsmart her Boston rival.

The trio perform this story with charm and hilarity. The audience is immediately immersed in the tale to the point that you almost forget you’re not in 1930s New York City, but actually in 21st century Brighton.

The second story takes place in an abandoned house where Rudolph, a wanted man with a “slug in his side”, is hiding from the police. He is interrupted by a kitten with one eye, whom he names One-Eyed Johnny. I was especially impressed with Henderson’s performance in this second story. Their minimal use of props emphasised his exceptional talent for acting, although the trio complemented each other consistently throughout the production.

Overall, I was incredibly impressed by New York Stories. It is not often you have the pleasure of such excellent storytelling. It takes a lot to be able to turn tales which would have otherwise been mediocre, into a fantastic hour of theatre. I would highly recommend seeing New York Stories at their upcoming show in November.

Reviews by Bronte Nicoll

Rialto Theatre

New York Stories

★★★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Re: Production

★★★★
The Warren: Studio 2

Mine

★★★★
Rialto Theatre

Doing What It Says On The Tin

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent

Guilty Pleasures

★★★★
Latest Music Bar

Mercutio Loves Romeo

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A wonderful piece of storytelling - two wise-crackin’, fast-talkin’ Damon Runyon 1930s short stories, performed by Ian Shaw, Duncan Henderson and David Mounfield. The first tale is a comedy built around an eating contest, the second studies the relationship between a half blind cat and a mobster holed up in a derelict hide out. Pretty Villain are 2014, 2015 and 2016 Brighton Fringe award-winners. "Brilliant” (Plays International). “Thoroughly professional” (Fringe Review). “high quality” ***** (The Argus).