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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Brighton 2011
The Nonsense
Published on Saturday, 21 May 2011

5 stars

Komedia Studio (venue website)
29 May, 10:30pm-11:59am; 8, 15 May, 3:30pm-5:00pm; 20 May, 6:00pm-7:30pm; 24 May, 6:30pm-8:00pm; 11 May, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Reviewed by Carmel Doohan

 Suitable for age 15+ only.
 Warning: Contains strong language.

As a punch bag swung slowly on the dim stage, I read the programme. It contained an intriguing glossary: Nonsense is inexcusable behaviour, a Nonse is a paedophile, and I now know a variety of new ways to refer to sexual acts and make racist remarks.

Andrew Kazamia is Ronnie Taylor, the star of this one-man show.  From his prison cell he tells us of his life, peopling the gloom using nothing more than his voice.  Boxing matches, relationships and a council of small-time gangsters fill the stage, and then fade away.

The story begins as a fun, well paced yarn.  Ronnie tells us about his family, his petty crime and his boxing, before it takes a darker, more dream-like turn.  Slowly his world grows morally ambiguous: “Killing is easy,” he tells us.  “It's what comes afterwards that's hard.” 

Despite the disturbing subject matter, this is a family production; a father is directed by his son and produced by his daughter-in-law.  As director, Dino Kazamia shows wonderful attention to detail.  Carefully-timed echoes add emphasis, and a simple dimmer switch provides set changes.

The piece is muscular in style as well as theme – Andrew works out for the entire fifty minutes, showing no sign of exhaustion.  He lets each punch and stomach crunch punctuate his tale, and his movement around the space is artfully managed.  Events visualize as if unfolding on screen, and the brutal climax left my ethics feeling bruised, searching for the elusive moment when an honourable rogue became something closer to a monster.

To be transported so completely by a story is a joy rarely experienced in adulthood, and writer Kevin Cotter uses a great actor to address issues that are complex and dark.  There’s only one thing that impressed me more the bravery of this piece… and that was the power of Andrew's superhuman abs.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2011.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.