Revelations by James Rowland – Vault Festival, Waterloo
Go see this play! It’s so bloody good! I loved it so much, even though I was crazy hungover from my birthday celebrations the night before. It essentially cured my hangover – a pretty powerful piece.
I’d seen the first two instalments of Rowland’s Songs of Friendship trilogy before and also absolutely loved them, so I had pretty high hopes for this one. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a storytelling piece, with just Rowland and a loop station onstage (full disclosure, dunno if this is actually what it’s called, it’s a cool little thing that he uses to record himself singing onstage, layering to create a song at the end. I think loop station is right). You forget how sparse the staging is, the writing transports you into each setting. I know the stories being told aren’t true but while you’re watching it you believe every word.
The play is about Rowland being asked to donate his sperm to his friends and the questions that raises for him. It is at times hilarious and at times heart-breaking, much like his previous two shows. He’s a charming performer, completely in control of the material and the audience. It’s such a warm show, I challenge anyone not to leave beaming. It also features a pretty daring use of nudity. It’s a bold choice given how stuffy us Brits often are about nakedness but it totally works.
It can’t find anything to fault with the show. Its main strength is Rowland himself and how engaging a stage presence he is. But my writing isn’t doing it justice, so just go and see it please.