Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still

Dave Florez
Gilded Balloon

Award-winning comedian Phil Nichol stars in this one man show written by Dave Florez.

The play opens with a monologue from Kevin as he sits in a 'caf' staring after the girl he loves - Dina. He orders a second Chicken Parmigiani just to he can speak to her. He comes across as desperate, lonely and somewhat fragile. And just as the audience is coming to understand him a little the fourth wall comes crashing down. The monologue stops. Kevin is gone.

Instead we have Phil. After a brief interlude of hurling some anti-semitic, racist and misogynistic jokes and asking the audience to leave, we eventually get back to the drama in hand. Phil is friends with Kevin. Phil loves Dina too.

Yet now the drama is real life. And real life is hard. Phil continues Kevin's story and now we can have the full picture.

This is a brilliantly clever show. The idea is unusual and the story heart-breaking. The only thing that lets it down is the poor jokes sandwiched between the two halves. Yes, the fourth wall is down, but it seems totally out of place to jump from a serious monologue to the harsh reality of life via some offensive jokes. It is only a minor interlude yet it makes the performance stilted.

However, Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still is an innovative work and it is something special.

Reviewer: Alison Burns