How wonderful to be able to write a review of a live performance again. And well done to Above The Stag Theatre for creating a secure and welcoming environment for its audience to be able to safely enjoy this one-man play.
Jonathan Tolins' Buyer & Cellar tells the story of an out-of-work actor who is hired by Barbara Streisand's housekeeper to manage the star's underground shopping mall. Part fact. Mostly fiction.
As Alex, the afore-mentioned actor, Aaron Sidwell gives us a beautifully nuanced, paced and truthful 100 minutes; taking on the roles of all the characters who inhabit this play. The individual characters and the conversations between them are well handled and realised thanks to Sidwell's relaxed and easy acting style. I just wish that director, Andrew Beckett, had trusted his actor – and the audience – a little more to create a less frenetic performance. The piece is at its most successful when we are invited in to discover the strange world that Alex inhabits rather than being shown it.
David Shields' simple yet effective set serves the piece perfectly and Stacey Sandford's lighting further helps to bring this strange, subterranean world to life.
What a treat to be back watching live theatre again. And what a treat of a play – and performance – to welcome us back to Above The Stag Theatre.