Best Man

Colman Hayes
A Few Words Theatre
Underbelly, George Square

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Best Man

Best Man is a solo show that fits snuggly between stand-up and theatre, perhaps leaning a little more towards the ad lib style of performance.

There is always one person at wedding that, embarrassingly, stands out for not fitting in. Too often, it is the Best Man. What would a wedding be without the Best Man’s speech which, cringingly, is presented in varying degrees of poor taste?

Our Best Man, Cathal, has prepared the toast speech for the reception of John and Rebecca’s wedding. But, of course, he has had a little too much celebration and he just can’t seem to find his notes. Not to worry, he knows what he what he's going to say. He is going to acknowledge each of the family and friend. But from the outset, he just can’t quite help but put his foot in his mouth.

To the bride’s beautiful mother, Lorraine: “so, we’ll know what Rebecca will look like when she is old. Not that you’re old, no!” he quickly wriggles out of the insult. And to his ex, Karen Delaney, "nice that you came." Oops. He has promised to keep it clean. He continues, with varying degrees of success, acknowledging each guest. He instantly realizes when he has stepped in it, and the counter he provides, of course, only makes the slight more obvious, more onerous.

This is how we imagine the bumbling but great Irish storytellers. Great with painting word pictures which are a little too spot-on to be comfortable. And this very ginger, curly haired, blue-eyed Colman Hayes does Best Man really well. His material allows for a good bit of ad lib interaction with the audience, to which he assigns the role of various wedding guests.

This is a very fast-paced hour, sadly in one of the pop-up tents that are very hot and have poor sight-lines. Good job of director, Mikey Fleming, who keeps our Best Man moving and the perfect delivery of Mr. Hayes for being so tall. “Not that tall is his best asset.”

Reviewer: Catherine Henry Lamm

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