Kings Head Theatre – 21st April 2019
Reviewed by Prachya van de Gevel
Brawn is a one man play about a young man Christopher Wollaton, writer and actor of the play that delves into the dark world, of body Dis-morphia. Where I think it really did well was the acting and the set was simple, a chair and a pair of dumbbells and that was all that was needed to draw you in.
The acting, by and large, was superb with so many lines, there was a few times lines were misspoke and repeated, but I am just being picky and in reality it added to the tension of and the neurosis of the character. Now I do no know if the play was based on real life experience, but I did find it hard to believe that Christopher had been bullied in school, and that someones whole career and fall in grades would have resulted from jealousy of another guy dating a girl he felt he had a connection with. Now maybe I am being cynical by that, and it’s not something that I feel empathetic towards. Where he did create moments of lucidness was in his love of science and quantum theory and these were things that really drew me in, the stage lighting really did a great job of setting the scene and drawing you in.
There is a lot to be said about the perspective of self perception in today’s youth of appearance based on easy access to Social Media and Hollywood Stars, that can really perceive the reality of maintaining the perfect technique, and his youth and generation really shows in his style of speech he uses many profanities and colloquialisms. The character is not part of the LGBTQ community but yet showcases at a predominately LGBTQ venue is interesting to watch as many including myself made an assumption the character was gay, and that would have added a whole new dimension to the story as that is something that really hits the community.
Christopher is rightly the star of the show, but I think we could have delved deeper into the character’s motivations and gave him some redeeming qualities, but then with those in place maybe you would loose how messed up your mind can be when you can only see imperfections in your perfect body.