Review: Yo My Man

BEN BLYTH was bored to the point of anger. He urges you not to read this review. Click if you must though.

Blyth Godot Jazz Man Theatre Yo

Yo My Man, Corpus Playroom,  26th-30th January


If Angela Liu really meant her whispered “I feel…alive” (finally breaking the BORING silence of the first 5 minutes of this BORING show) I wished she’d shown it. I’ve wrestled with myself for ages about how I felt about this production and, as you can see, I’ve finally decided to be ANGRY about being so BORED. Good. Finally these emotions have computed. Now back to my breakfast of bitches and steak.

For those of you still reading this review – those of you who take pleasure in paying £5 to be BORED – here’s what ‘Yo My Man’ is about. ‘Beethoven’ awakes on a bench and is pestered for about 20 minutes by ‘Rollo’. Both have undergone some misfortune that we’re supposed to care about and have embarked upon separate journeys to ‘find’ themselves. Some other shit happens – more people come in and leave and then the play ends. The end. Goodbye. BORED NOW?

If you’re STILL reading this review you must be interested in finding some nugget of textual or dramatic criticism. I applaud your efforts. You are not the sort of person easily BORED.  I don’t want to do Beckett the disrespect of naming the play that William Stuart has ripped off here. As a friend pointed out to me in the bar afterwards, at least Vladimir and Estragon were waiting for something, but no, that’s too ‘cliché’ for Stuart. “Imagine”, he muses over his pipe and cognac in my mind, “if Godot was never mentioned…and it was just the…you know…stuff”. Somewhere along the line no-one said, “Stop Will. This is shit!” What we’re left with is a slow-burning character narrative centred on an individual with no purpose, played by a performer with little or no stage-presence. The stilted script really jarred during moments of introspection that sat in sharp relief against the frankly slapstick ‘comedy’ that we’d been subjected to in previous 20 minutes. These moments were lifted straight from the ‘character development’ chapter of a GCSE drama textbook. This really was so so poorly written.

Ok, so, if you’re STILL reading this review you must be a cast member in that case I’ll make this section a little more constructive. Note the TWO stars. The set was simplistic but the individual pieces were excellent, the trunk and the bench in particular creating a contrasting aesthetic to the leafy scenery of the garden. The lighting too was adequate; changes were minimal and used well to maintain a continuity of action. One-time Lara Croft Kat Griffiths was a godsend, the one stand-out performer with the energy and charisma to command a stage. However, in a desperate attempt to eek some more ‘comedy’ from the ridiculously dry script, she had been directed to identify herself as a ‘business [look at boobs] man’.

Transit Gloria Mundi.

If, after all of this, you’re not a cast member and are STILL reading this frankly shocking review, you must be very BORED and probably the sort of person who wouldn’t mind seeing this show. I salute you but I really don’t want to know you.