URBAN, Newport as part of Comedy Port
Sat 13 Oct
words: LYNDA NASH
URBAN in John Frost Square, Newport, has been decked out as a submarine (excuse the pun). As we take our seats, engines start to whir as we are slowly transported to the depths of the ocean… then two actors come on stage and break the spell. I had expected to see at least one fish. The Roadie And The Groupie was advertised as a comedy with silly-witty humour. I can do silly, I can do slapstick, I can do subversive and sublime, but I can’t do dour or sour.
The hour-long play began with groupie Josie chasing a bus. The band she’d been on tour with had done a runner and left her on a deserted road somewhere in the USA. I’m not surprised they left her – she did nothing but whine and curse. This was not the fault of Amanda Mulford who played the girl, but a failure in the script.
Josie thinks she’s alone but then she falls over Rory, a drug-addled roadie (played by Ian Pope), who’d also missed the bus, and who, on finding out that Josie is only fourteen, did not come across as a very convincing father figure. The dialogue was too harsh to be silly, the constant effing and blinding was tedious, and the characters unlikable – though if this had been performed at 10 on a Friday night with free wine thrown in, it might have brought the house down. As it was, the audience barely went into double figures, and thank goodness we weren’t in a real submarine and two managed to escape.
The Roadie And The Groupie missed the boat, it was dead in the water from the onset, but bravo to the actors for memorising the huge amount of lines and for not walking off and going to sink a few down the nearest pub.