Spark Fest kicks off with a delightfully sweet and bubbling performance from the minds of brand new theatre company, Fluorescent Productions. This neatly packaged one-hander, slowly reels you in to expose the horrid realities of a young man diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
We join David, a twenty-four-year-old vlogger, who today, is making his final video entry. Dressed in pyjamas and sat in his bare and basic flat, David takes us on a tale of love and romance, his wonderful mother, how dogs shit too much and babies puke. So, with a desire for a lower risk house pet, David and his girlfriend bought a cactus and named it, Lewie. But this story is not all roses and fun, the wonderful world that David has created is tipped upside down and torn apart. Its starts with forgetting bin night, then forgetting that his mother is dead. Haunted by the voice of his ex-girlfriend and a rotting cactus in the corner, David fights with the truly awful experience of memory loss. Making us learn that this is not just something that will grab us in old age but could lurk around the corner for us all.
Jacob Ruddle leading this one-man band is a beautiful storyteller. Every smile and raised eyebrow makes the audience fall neatly into his palm and carry us he does. Creating multiple characters, showing off his magic tricks and breaking our hearts, Ruddle is certainly going to be an actor to watch.
Director Joshua Gray has devised and created a performance that will no doubt grow into something very special after it finds its feet in this initial run. With a few clunks in the script and bumps in the story. A perhaps pointless interval, that put an unwelcome hitch in the pace. A slight dark area over David’s vlogging past, is it a vlog or a private suicide note? This is by no doubt a delightful new play by a very promising emerging theatre-company. Telling an unheard story that is sure to stick in your mind for as long as you can remember. Be sure not to miss it
A play with moments of excellence that falls short towards the end.