Still Awake

Drama · langley productions · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by NIEK VERSTEEG

June 05, 2022 certified reviewer

What I liked

I loved the performances from the cast, the creative use of the space and the story, which seemed so truthful to how I would imagine late night television to be behind the scenes, as if writer/director Jonathan Langley had been in the writer’s room himself that fateful day!

What I didn't like

The only constructive criticism I could offer would be for the actors to open the show with the level of energy that they warmed into after the first ten minutes, it was just a little quiet initially before everyone relaxed into it and everything could be heard.

I should say though that this was a Preview performance of a new work that I watched, and so any nerves inside the first ten minutes I would argue are not just understandable, but inevitable.

My overall impression

Jonathan Langley has beautifully written and expertly directed a frighteningly truthful portrayal of the late night television scene, during what surely must have been one of it’s toughest moments, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

A fantastic ensemble cast led by the immediately likeable, constantly entertaining and always fraught Tony Aycuff, played expertly by Theo Newton, took us on a journey through wonderfully inventive use of The Actors Company’s Other Space, with the audience flanking the central playing space on either side. Slick scene changes and constantly mobile action made for a fast paced story that had zip, wit and elegance at times.

Hats off to the whole production team for the incredible amount of work it must have taken to mount such an ambitious production at a Fringe festival with such success!

Some standout performances, creative direction, witty writing and an ensemble working with and for each other make this a show you don’t want to miss!!

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