In this show of songs and character vignettes, Nigel Osner casts his perceptive and somewhat mischievous gaze over the poignance and ridiculousness of clinging to the illusion of youth long after it has passed.
Witty, bitchy, achingly sad and, finally, strangely uplifting
When does a nightclub just become ‘fucking loud!’? When would you prefer a restful love affair to having to remove your underwear? There is perhaps a space in which there is still a yearning for youth’s pleasures when the body and its stamina have well and truly flagged.
Botox and chin-tucks might give a superficial sense that age has been kept at bay, but when one needs to sit down in a club, and when staying out until midnight has become a misty and nostalgic memory, truth cannot be denied.
Osner’s poetic monologues and chanteur-style songs have a nostalgic feel of 1950s jazz clubs. Their tone of wit and lightness of touch is, however, undercut with some gutsy moments. Literally. One shouldn’t allow a murder at the next table ruin your dinner, even if your female companion is splattered with brains. After all, she says, she is quite capable of removing the stains.
Touchingly, in the world of Osner’s characters there is something ultimately dignified about losing one’s dignity. Taking an absurdly younger lover is a way of warming one’s body up before it becomes cold forever. Death is inescapably waiting in the wings, no matter how much these characters might deny it. Osner plays both male and female characters, though it would be a mistake to call this drag. He evokes a person with an item or two of clothing - a cravat, or a pearl necklace...an understated but effective theatrical convention.
Witty, bitchy, achingly sad and, finally, strangely uplifting, Osner’s personal charm carries the show and I was left feeling that I’d spent an hour in safe hands.