Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews


Say When

Living Pictures , Chapter , September 18, 2019
Say When by Living Pictures When four expert nutritionists sat across the edge of the stage to lead the post show discussion, it became clear that what we had just seen was a ‘morality’ play, though the endearing way in which Robbie Bowman had presented his ‘fat’ story to us had won him a lot of the audience’s sympathy: almost encouraging some of us to follow him down that road.

One of the most spectacular sequences in the show was him, describing his time as a wrestler. In his Stars and Stripes mankini he wrestles with himself, pinning himself to the floor! Like most of his rare ‘weight-loss’ attempts, it was a complete failure and his moral compass, where food was concerned lay in metaphorical bits all around him.

It would seem that the greatest bodily destruction he had caused was by the large dessert covered in sweetened, condensed milk with added sugar all across the top of it. He seemed almost proud of his fat-bits as he took us on a tour of his body, pointing out his moobs and other bits of his lumpiness with a self-indulgent smile.

Although he was living in a very small kitchen the ‘e numbers’ of the prepared food just kept tumbling through it and Robbie could never, seemingly, say when. His mantra was “give me more.”

Dairy was one of his favourites, he emptied the fridge of cheese and full-fat milk in no time at all. He had to eat quickly as there was a lot of eating to do.

And he had more food for all of us. As the show closed an excellent, vegan, buffet was laid out for our delight. None of this had any attraction for Robbie. With a brimming relish he took us through a list of the prepared, pre-packed foods he delighted in throwing down his throat into his bulging belly that he presented to us with pride.

By now some of us healthy eaters were beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable as we imagined the smell of bad food filling the air. What we did feel full of was the great comfort and delight of the strong and captivating nature of the actor’s performance. He had won many of us over to his ‘eat as much as you like’ philosophy. We needed the comments of the experts to get us back on track once we had escaped for Robbie’s ‘never say when’ influence.

Clearly we had all been successfully converted as we all descended on the buffet: by now encouraged never to, Say When.

This work of delightful extravagance did have the support of the Arts Council of Wales.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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